Paul Sharits

Block Cinema

Block Cinema screens classic and contemporary films and is dedicated to providing the Northwestern campus, the North Shore and Chicago with a quality venue for cinema. Block Cinema is sponsored in part by a generous gift from James B. Pick and Rosalyn M. Laudati.

Current Series

Breaking the Frame

Breaking The Frame

1/14/16 7PM FREE
Filmmaker Marielle Nitoslawska’s feature-length documentary Breaking the Frame is a sensitive and insightful profile of radical New York artist Carolee Schneemann. A pioneer of performance, body art, and avant-garde cinema, Schneemann has been challenging assumptions about feminism, gender, sexuality, and identity in the art world for five decades.
Paul Sharits

A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-1980s


In conjunction with the Block Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-1980s, Block Cinema highlights Charlotte Moorman’s critical role in promoting and championing nontraditional media. The series features documentaries on artists Carolee Schneemann and Paul Sharits, as well as short films by Sharits, Dick Higgins, Jack Smith, and Aldo Tambellini. The final screening, Andy Warhol’s underground epic The Chelsea Girls, captures the wild spirit and energy of downtown New York City in the mid-1960s.

Super Up

A Windy City: Songs of Dissent and Unrest

1/21/16 7PM FREE
Michelle Puetz, the Block Museum’s new Curator of Media Arts, presents and discusses a selection of her personal favorites from the Chicago Film Archives. A regional film archive dedicated to collecting, preserving and providing access to moving images that represent the history of the Midwest, the Chicago Film Archives is one of the most important keepers of our city’s cultural, social and political history.
seven times a day we bemoan our lot and at night we get up to avoid dreaming

Emerging Artists: Contemporary Experimental Films And Video Art From Germany

1/22/16 7PM FREE
This program highlights several short experimental film and video works by young artists from Germany. These shorts play with the distinction between real and fictional spaces, cinematic tropes including the essay or portrait film, found footage practices, and conventional devices of narrative storytelling.
Thumbs Down

Kartemquin Films 50th Anniversary


Over the past fifty years, Kartemquin Films has solidified its place as a powerhouse in the field of socially relevant documentary film. From the company’s inception, founder and artistic director Gordon Quinn has zeroed in on the most pressing current issues and has managed to create constructive dialogues around them. Kartemquin’s films have focused on a range of topics that are still relevant today, such as the gentrification of immigrant neighborhoods, refugees and immigration in the US, and violence in Chicago communities.

The Chelsea Girls

The Chelsea Girls

2/13/16 12:30PM
One of Andy Warhol’s most celebrated films, The Chelsea Girls is set in New York City’s famed Chelsea Hotel and features a host of Factory regulars and Warhol Superstars, including Velvet Underground collaborator Nico, actress Mary Woronov, and experimental filmmaker Marie Menken.
Saul Levine

Saul Levine: Textures of the Everyday

2/19/16 7PM
Beginning in the 1960s, filmmaker Saul Levine has created a body of work that is by turns lyrical, poetic, autobiographical, and political. He has worked primarily in Super-8mm, and his films constitute one of the most distinctive voices in American avant-garde film and capture the intimacy and delicacy of small-gauge filmmaking.


2/20/16 1PM
The story of a couple whose relationship, ethics and life slowly disintegrates, Greed is Erich von Stroheim’s adaptation of McTeague written in 1899 by Frank Norris. Originally a 9-hour long “endurance film” which MGM studios shortened significantly- The missing 7 hours of material have often been described as legendary, the “Holy Grail of Film.” The version screening will be the original theatrical release cut.
Kuzu (The Lamb)

Kutluğ Ataman

2/25-2/26/2016 FREE

In collaboration with the Middle East and North African Studies Program and the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program, Block Cinema welcomes internationally recognized filmmaker and contemporary artist Kutluğ Ataman to Northwestern University to introduce and discuss two of his feature-length films.

Volta à Terra

New Documentaries

3/3-3/4/2016 FREE FOR STUDENTS

Concluding the winter calendar are two remarkable new documentaries from Portugal and China—both top prize winners at the 2015 Chicago International Film Festival—that quietly observe the lives of rural subsistence farmers (Volta à Terra) and coal miners (In the Underground). Both films present the dignity of their subjects and the very different fragilities of their working lives.


Unless otherwise noted:

  • $4.00 for Northwestern University faculty, staff and students with valid WildCARD; students from other schools with valid college/university ID; seniors 60 and older
  • $6.00 for the general public
  • $20.00 for a quarterly pass

Doors open thirty minutes prior to showtime. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please arrive early to purchase your tickets.

Block Cinema films are screened in the Block Museum’s Pick-Laudati Auditorium. See Directions and Parking for information on how to get to the Musuem. Parking is free in the lot south of the Block after 4 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekends.

Quick Links