This Classic Story is Actually About PhDs

Something amazing happened this week. Twitter user and certified genius Emma Razeng discovered the secret plot of one of New Zealand’s most famous cinematic exports.


This got me thinking… I wonder how many movies could be seen as being ‘about’ getting a research degree?

My PhD was a bit like Gravity:

  • I took a cautious step into the unknown, carefully tethered to a whole support system
  • Then I found myself way out in intellectual deep space, with no-one able to help me, except one trusted advisor who was often pulled out of range of communications
  • At times my brain conjured a George Clooney-like fantasy figure just to keep me going that little bit longer
  • Dodging various fires, and feeling like I had no air, I eventually considered giving up
  • But something deep in my subconscious kept me going, and against all odds, I used a combination of desperation and ingenuity to find a way back to planet Earth
  • I landed dazed and spluttering, stepping shakily onto solid ground
  • The whole thing took about 4 1/2 years to produce; much longer than expected

About Anaise Irvine

Dr Anaise Irvine is the Editor of Thesislink and leads the Researcher Education and Development team at Auckland University of Technology. Her PhD research analysed how contemporary films and novels represent genetic engineering as a social justice issue. These days she works with researchers at all levels to improve their research skills, and the most obscure of her own research skills is being able to turn novels into phylogenetic trees!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available