Martha’s Vineyard Film Center offers science at the cinema

The Film Center will join 28 cities across the U.S. in participating in the fourth annual “National Evening of Science on Screen.” Pairing a film with a science expert on March 28 at 7:30 pm, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center will screen “Robot & Frank” (2012), with a postscreening discussion about what robots will look like in the future with Michael Chuah, doctoral candidate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory.

In “Science on Screen,” theaters pair screenings of classic, cult, science-fiction, and documentary films with lively presentations by notable experts from the world of science and technology. Each film serves as a jumping-off point for the expert speaker to explore a related scientific or technological topic in a way that engages the audience, from the dangers of climate change (“The Grapes of Wrath”) to the search for extraterrestrial life (“Contact”).

Set in the near future, “Robot & Frank” features Frank, a retired cat burglar with two grown kids who are concerned that he can no longer live alone. They are tempted to place him in a nursing home until Frank’s son chooses a different option: Against the old man’s wishes, he buys Frank a walking, talking humanoid robot, programmed to improve his physical and mental health. What follows is a sometimes hilarious and somewhat heartbreaking story about finding friends and family in unexpected places. For more information, visit