Following on from the success of their ‘Midwich Experiments’, the British Film Institute (BFI) have once again teamed up with Cinelive. They brought ‘What’s the Grey Matter with Gregory?’ to secondary school children around the country as part of their LOVE season. In this Wellcome Trust-funded immersive cinema event, students played the part of scientists trying to investigate the outbreak of flirtatiousness that has gripped Abronhill High School. ‘What’s the Grey Matter with Gregory?’ is based on Bill Forsyth’s cult classic 1981 film about awkward adolescent romance, Gregory’s Girl. With the help of Cambridge University students Ryan Hamnett and Laura Forde, students explored the biological control of love. Learning about the hormonal control and psychology of love and attraction helped them to understand what might be causing the sudden amorous outburst.
Taking place at 10 different venues across the UK, students of the host schools act as flirtatious 1980s pupils, complete with the iconic imagery of the 80s – Smash Hits magazine, football cards and a playground-wide dance-off to the Human League. The first event, which occurred at Varndean School in Brighton, saw over 100 visiting students. They took part in workshops investigating attraction theories through the lenses of endocrinology and psychology and used logic and reasoning to accept or reject theories. By combining this with their observations of the ‘Abronhill’ students, the visiting pupils explored our current scientific understanding of love in this immersive learning experience.
Written by Ryan Hamnett