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26 Oct 20236:30 pm – 10:00 pm

CinemARC: Donnie Darko and the Horrors of Sleep

Advanced Research Centre

A special Halloween screening of the cult-classic Donnie Darko. Join researchers as we invite you to think about the darker side of sleep.

Come along to this special Halloween event plus director panel discussion and Q&A. We will be screening the cult-classic Donnie Darko, plus Simone Smith’s The Möbius Trip. Join researchers as we invite you to think about the darker side of sleep, where dreams turn into nightmares and illusions turn into hallucinations.

We’re thrilled to be pairing Donnie Darko with The Möbius Trip, written and directed by Simone Smith. This short film is presented in partnership with Glasgow Short Film Festival. As Scotland’s leading short film event, GSFF seeks to nurture and inspire diverse forms of cinematic expression, here and around the world. The next edition of GSFF will take place 20-24 March 2024.

Ahead of our screening, delve into the horrors of sleep where University of Glasgow colleagues from across the disciplines invite you to share in some of their research on dreams and illusions.

After the screening, we welcome Simone Smith, director of the The Möbius Trip, who will be in conversation with University of Glasgow researchers Dr Kevin Leomo and Dr Maria Sledmere, who are leading the Design Your Own Sleep Demon workshop on Monday 23 October.

Grab a drink, have a chat to a researcher, and discover the spooky side of sleep.

This event is free, but ticketed.

People will be permitted to one drink on arrival, while stocks last.

You are welcome to bring your own food, but please take any rubbish away with you.


18:30 – Welcome drinks and displays

19:00 – Introduction

19:05 – Short Film: The Möbius Trip by Simone Smith

19:20 – Short break

19:30 – Feature Film: Donnie Darko

21:30 – Post-screening conversation with Simone Smith, Kevin Leomo and Maria Sledmere

22:00 – Event ends

About Donnie Darko

James Richard Kelly | 2001 | 113min

During the presidential election of 1988, US teen Donnie Darko, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, sleepwalks out of his house one night and sees a giant rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world will end in 28 days. When Donnie returns home, he finds that a jet engine has crashed into his bedroom. Is Donnie living in a parallel universe, is he suffering from mental illness – or will the world really end?

Donnie Darko is certified as a 15.

About The Möbius Trip

Simone Smith | 2023 | 17min

A road trip pushes a dysfunctional family to the brink after their journey descends into a claustrophobic hallucinatory nightmare.

The Möbius Trip had its World Premiere at GSFF 2023, where it won a Special Mention from the jury. It has gone on to win awards at Chicago Underground Film Festival, Torino Underground CineFest and Encounters Film Festival, Bristol.

About the Speakers

Simone Smith is a Scottish film director and visual artist from Glasgow. Her independent short film SLAP was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA in 2019, and her film RED earned her the Best Editor accolade at the 2013 British Academy Scotland New Talent Awards. Smith’s latest short film THE MOBIUS TRIP premiered at the Glasgow Short Film Festival in March 2023, and won the Jury Special Mention award for its “radicalism”, and “strong adventurous cinematic vision”. Official selections include Academy-qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival and Encounters Film Festival. She has two feature films in development with BFI Network and Screen Scotland: IT’S TOO LATE YOU CAN’T SAVE ME and UNTIL SHE BLEEDS.

Dr Kevin Leomo is a Scottish-Filipino composer of experimental music interested in silence, fragility, perception, and liminality. His practice involves collaboration, improvisation, listening practices, non-standard notation, and working cross-culturally. He runs the experimental music collective Sound Thought and is the Community and Engagement Manager for the College of Arts at the University of Glasgow.

Dr Maria Sledmere is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Strathclyde, editor-in-chief of SPAM Press and a Tutor in English Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. Her most recent publication is An Aura of Plasma Around the Sun (Hem Press, 2023), a work of poetry, fiction and oneiric memoir. She is a member of A+E Collective and her book Cinders, a poetry collection about fire, hospitality and petro-femininity, is forthcoming with KRUPSKAYA in 2024.