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Bio-picsA Life in Pictures$
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Ellen Cheshire

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172059

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172059.001.0001

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Voices from the Ivory Towers of Academia

(p.83) 6 Awakenings

Ellen Cheshire

Columbia University Press

From the 1930s to the 1950s, scientists, academics, and technologists were portrayed as “heroes” working to make the world a safer, better place. In most recent years, such films have tended to offer a warts-and-all depiction, interweaving the academic prowess of their subjects with complex emotional stories. This chapter examines two films that feature men working in academia during the same period: Alfred Kinsey in Kinsey (2004) and John Nash in A Beautiful Mind (2001). Kinsey focuses on the period leading up to the publication of Kinsey's 1948 study Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, through to his death in 1956. The film covered the darker sides of Kinsey's character, including his bisexuality, masochistic and voyeuristic practices. A Beautiful Mind depicted how Nash dealt with and overcame his schizophrenia.

Keywords:   bio-pics, films, scientists, academics, Alfred Kinsey, John Nash, A Beautiful Mind, schizophrenia

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