Celluloid Psychology series

The Celluloid Psychology series is brought to you as an ongoing series of screenings exploring the mind and brain in cinema. Each of our carefully selected films are curated and introduced by a specialist in human behaviour, who will discuss how their area of expertise can shed unexpected light on the psychological questions explored in the film. 

Some screenings might provide a new perspective on familiar works, whereas others will introduce lesser-seen gems that perfectly illustrate an idea or phenomenon. Celluloid Psychology was devised by Dr Alastair Smith (School of Psychology) as an antidote to the usual depictions of psychology on our screens. Alastair will host each session and introduce the guest experts.

Film: Vertigo (1958)

Acrophobic ex-cop James Stewart, hired to shadow death-obsessed Kim Novak, saves her from drowning in the shadow of the Golden Gate bridge, but not from a fall off a Mission steeple. 

Prior to the film, Dr William Simpson will discuss the physiological and psychological processes underlying colour vision, along with the use of colour to denote characters, emotions and subconscious mental states. 

Date: Mon 12 November
Time: 19:00
Venue: Jill Craigie Cinema 



Film: Arrival (2016)

Linguistics professor Louise Banks leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. Banks and her crew must find a way to communicate with the extra-terrestrial visitors. 

University of Plymouth Psycho-linguist, Dr Caroline Floccia, will discuss prior to the film the relationship between language and thought, focusing on the influential Whorfian hypothesis - which posits that our mental processes are shaped by the languages that we use.  

Date: Mon 19 November
Time: 19:30
Venue: Jill Craigie Cinema 

Film: Une Nouvelle Amie (2014)

Claire discovers a secret about the husband of her late best friend, Laura. With dashes of George Cukor and Douglas Sirk, Ozon elevates his exploration of femininity to a new level. 

Prior to Francois Ozon's provocative French-language film, University of Plymouth Clinical Psychologist Jacqui Steadmon will discuss current mental health problems in young people who identify as LGBT+, and the film's portrayal of gender and sexual orientation issues. 

Date: Mon 3 December 
Time: 19:00 
Venue: Jill Craigie Cinema 

Une Nouvelle Amie

Interested in studying psychology?

Did you know that 89 per cent of our graduates are in employment or further study after six months?

To find out about the University of Plymouth's range of psychology courses within the School of Psychology, please visit the school page