Film, Magic and Illusion Sunday Brunches - The Prestige - on stage

What's on

Film, Magic and Illusion

Expect the unexpected in December as our dabblings into the world of magic continue with films, events, showcases and appearances from our curious magicians in residence, who have been with us for the past two months.

Stuart Nolan and Kieron Kirkland are based at the Pervasive Media Studio and have been exploring creative ideas that blend technology, interactive design, magic and illusion. From fortune telling birds that can analyse your personality and see into the future, to bone conductors, hacked e-cigarettes and open source magic products, this is a chance to see what they've pulled out of their respective hats at the Magicians in Residence Showcase on Wed 4 Dec (and we'll conjure up free mince pies and a drink for you too).

During their spell here Stuart and Kieron have been reflecting on the connections and history between cinema, magic, deception and illusion with our Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove. Together they have programmed our December Sunday Brunches, which are dedicated to celluloid magicians - including Orson Welles, David Mamet, Christopher Nolan, Sylvain Chomet and Martin Scorsese - whose films prove that magic is oh so much more than a simple case of smoke and mirrors.

Time travelling back to the days of early cinema, Stuart and Kieron will also join Professor of Film History Ian Christie and Watershed Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove for an illustrated discussion on the rich influence of magic and magicians on pioneers of film on Tue 3 Dec. At the turn of the 20th century, magicians were at the forefront of cinema innovation, and there was often no distinction for the audience between a magic show and a film screening - indeed, events would often contain elements of both.

Imagine what it must have been like for audiences at the time to see George Méliès' spaceship hitting the moon in the eye, RW Paul's flying car driving off into space and circling the rings of Saturn or Segundo de Chomon's self-brushing hair and suitcases with minds of their own. This talk will explore more of these early innovations and show the roots of the often-used cliche 'the magic of the movies'.

Now, are you watching closely?