The more I learn about the body, medicine, and disease, the more I enjoy a film for its treatment of those topics. The next time you watch a film with a "medical" perspective, appreciate the research that went into the portrayal of a surgical procedure. Check out the make up artists' techniques for building scars. Ask yourself if the blood coughed up by Nicole Kidman really has the color and consistency of pulmonary blood sputum.
I love it when a film gets it right. I love it when the film gets it wrong. Why would I like a film that got the science wrong? Because it's entertaining. I admire the way the script (or director) diverts attention from a big hole in medical theory. It brings up questions: Is everything wrong? Do they get something right? Do they know they're wrong? Do they care? Can they sustain the plot with this bottomless chasm of a mistake lying there, waiting for one false step, slip, and plummet to doom? We may never know the answers to all of these questions, but exploring the possibilities will be a lot of fun!
These pictures are from some medical film classics: Young Frankenstein (a personal favorite), Outbreak, Mr. Sardonicus, and The Fantastic Voyage. All are delightful films that I will look at in the future.
My next post will be a movie-science analysis of the film that has the distinction of launching this blog - Face/Off, John Woo's gem of a film from the Archives of Ludicrous Science.