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Video/Cognition & Intelligence

Optical illusions show how past experience dramatically influences perception

4 minutes

Video/Film & Television

‘What’s going on?’ How seeking meaning is futile in the Coen Brothers’ universe

8 minutes


Here’s looking at you

Filmmakers have tapped laws of perception still unexplored by neuroscience to create a visual feast in the brain

Jeffrey M Zacks

Idea/Digital Culture

Murder in virtual reality should be illegal

Angela Buckingham

Essay/Stories & Literature

Full-body reading

Literary criticism taught me to scrub my feelings out of my reading, but a medieval mystic showed me how to put them back in

Anna Wilson

Essay/Mood & Emotion

A theory of creepiness

A bear chasing you is simply scary but a guy with a big mouse’s head can give you the creeps. What’s the difference?

David Livingstone Smith

Essay/History of Technology

Getting things moving

The most important moments in invention are sometimes the imaginative leaps – even when they turn out to be dead-ends

Brian Clegg


The classic 1977 film that put the vastness of the universe into perspective

9 minutes

Video/Film & Television

Why Buster Keaton’s visual comedy is still the best in a century-plus of cinema

9 minutes

Video/Film & Television

Rod Serling on how imagination turns science fiction into fact

5 minutes

Idea/Illness & Disease

The Still Alice effect: not all Alzheimer’s is like this

Giulia Cavaliere & James Rupert Fletcher

Idea/Food & Drink

Delicious is disgusting: how one word conquered food porn

David Andrew Stoler

Video/Film & Television

Squirm, laugh, judge – but reality TV school is not quite what you think

23 minutes


The pleasure of their pain

Why the punishment and humiliation of reality TV contestants provides such a satisfying and deep pleasure

Batya Ungar-Sargon

Essay/Film & Television

Fantasy North

The top of the globe has always meant fantasy, myth, adventure. What explains the icy northern grip on our imagination?

E R Truitt

Essay/Film & Television


It’s not just your imagination. Horror films are much more scary than they were in the past. Here’s how they do it

Patricia Pisters

Essay/Film & Television

Dispatches from the ruins

The human world has become bafflingly complex and strangely fragile making apocalypse the easiest thing to imagine

Frank Bures

Video/Beauty & Aesthetics

Why do audiences thrill to the negative emotions of horror fiction?

6 minutes

Essay/Film & Television

Working on TV

The golden age of TV drama raises some big questions about work and the meaning of life

Bruce Robbins

Video/Progress & Modernity

‘Human might, majesty and mayhem’: a visual time capsule from 1965

13 minutes

Video/Mood & Emotion

The inventive absurdity of Chuck Jones, creator of ‘Looney Tunes’

9 minutes

Video/Digital Culture

Is our love of built worlds in fiction making us too passive and disengaged?

7 minutes

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Strange continuity

Throughout evolutionary history, we never saw anything like a montage. So why do we hardly notice the cuts in movies?

Jeffrey M Zacks

Video/Digital Culture

The unsettling underbelly of Hollywood’s marketing looks a lot like YouTube

25 minutes

Video/Digital Culture

Why is our digital world so difficult to depict on our digital screens?

5 minutes

Video/Digital Culture

A playful paean to glorious celluloid and the magic of cinema

7 minutes

Video/War & Conflict

What was it like to go to the movies in January 1940?

5 minutes


The good zombie

The new zombie still eats brains, but it can think, emote and even fall in love. Why zombies with heart are on the rise

Davia Sills

Essay/Automation & Robotics

Numbing the imagination

CGI has become wearingly dull and cliched. Can its deep weirdness be recovered and filmgoers’ minds stretched again?

Jonathan Romney


A couple, spirited but low on cash, challenges conceptions of Middle America

19 minutes