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Dr. Wheeler Winston Dixon and David A. Kirby

Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 9:00pm

Horror films have been made since the beginning of cinema. Thomas Edison made one of the earliest film treatments of the Frankenstein novel. And since those early days, horror films have had a long, complex multinational history . Tonight’s guest on Inquiry is Dr. WHEELER WINSTON DIXON the James Ryan Endowed Professor of Film Studies and professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. His latest book on film history is one of the most complete and far ranging histories of this genre: A HISTORY OF HORROR. Tonight we discuss the beginnings of the horror film and concentrate on the fascinating story of the British film company Hammer Films, which in the 1960s reinvigorated the cinema of horror with classic films like The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula, Prince of Darkness and made international stars of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. If you are passionate about horror films, don’t miss tonight’s show!
When Hollywood directors like Spielberg, De Palma and Zemeckis want to make sure their science fiction films look real, they often call in science consultants to get their suggestions. But how much influence these scientists on the final look of the picture varies tremendously from film to film. Certainly any good director wants the science of their film to be correct, but not when it gets in the way of a good story or adds to the budget. So there is often a struggle between the science consultant’s knowledge and the director’s vision. Tonight on Inquiry, we speak with DAVID A. KIRBY, Senior Lecturer in Science Communication Studies at the Centre the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester. His new book LAB COATS IN HOLLYWOOD: SCIENCE, SCIENTISTS AND CINEMA looks at this complex and often rocky relationship between the scientists on call and the rest of the film crew. If you are a fan of science fiction films, don’t miss this interview!

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