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Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross


Graveyard Disturbance (Una Notte al Cimitero)(1987)

Five teenagers are lost at night in a cemetery building. They climb a ladder and find themselves below where they were before:
ROBIN: Well, we climbed the ladder.
TINA (Lia Martino): Yeah, we did.
ROBIN: We can’t be underneath.
DAVID (Karl Zinny): Ever heard of Escher?
ROBIN: What’s Eschcr got to do with this?
TINA: Who’s Escher?
DAVID: A Dutch painter who was famous for having painted incredible geometrical illusions that looked fantastically real.
ROBIN: This isn’t helping any.
DAVID: Yeah? But it kind of explains something. In our minds, used to Euclidean geometry, can fool us. Maybe to go up, we should go down. Huh?
JOHNNY: Even though it’s all way over my head, I think, I think Dave’s right. We’ll never get out of here following our own logic.