Special Programs - Spring: Block Museum - Northwestern University
Skip to main content

Special Programs - Spring

Special Programs - Spring

Event Details

Date & Time:

Fri April 3, 2015 - Fri June 5, 2015


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


This spring Block Cinema presents an eclectic assortment of one-night screenings including visits from the Iranian documentarian Pouran Derakhshandeh and the Chicago-based artist and experimental filmmaker Chris Sullivan. The screening of the 1952 biopic of Toulouse-Lautrec dovetails with the Museum’s student curated exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity on view in the Katz Gallery through April 19. In partnership with the Northwestern University Poetry and Poetics Colloquium, Block presents an evening of rare documentary films on American and African poets, all produced for National Educational Television in the mid-1960s. The Cinema has also teamed up with two different student groups. First, in collaboration with the student-run radio station, WNUR, Block Cinema brings you, Sonic Celluloid, an evening of original live music accompanying silent and experimental films. A&O Films and the Cinema present a student-programmed evening featuring the 1980 classic The Shining. On the last night of the academic year, Wexner Center for the Arts Director of Film/Video Dave Filipi returns to the Block with a brand new batch of rare baseball films .


Moulin Rouge

Friday, April 3, 2015 7:00 PM
(John Huston, 1952, UK, 35mm/digital, 119 min.)

With the student-curated exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity on view in the Katz Gallery, escape to 19th century Paris with the 1952 Lautrec biopic Moulin Rouge. John Huston followed up his sensational hit The African Queen with this Technicolor adaptation of a fictionalized biography of the French artist. The film uses complicated narrative storytelling to depict Lautrec’s life story and transports the audience to turn-of-the-century France. Huston’s own painting background is on display in the intricate design of the film, which won Oscars for Set Decoration and Art Direction.


Hiss! Dokhtarha faryad nemizanand! (Hush! Girls Don’t Scream!)

Thursday, April 16, 2015 7:00 PM FREE
(Pouran Derakhshandeh, 2013, Iran, DVD, 104 min.)

On her wedding night, Shirin, who seems to be psychologically distressed, murders her building’s doorman. As she is interrogated by the police, and the case gradually unravels, it becomes clear that she suffered sexual abuse in her childhood and her act of homicide was to save another child from being abused. In a society that highly favors family “honor” above anything else, the victim of abuse is not supposed to be heard. Her life is at the mercy of the court and the judicial system. The film won widespread national and international acclaim for daring not only to speak about a taboo subject but also to address issues such as capital punishment in Iran. Derakhshandeh spent three years researching the problem and interviewing hundreds of the victims of pedophilia.

Introduced by Northwestern University Professor and Middle East and North African studies (MENA) program director Brian T. Edwards.

Q&A with director Pouran Derakhshandeh and film studies professor Hamid Naficy following the screening.

Preceded by a 6pm reception at Block Cinema.


Bist (Twenty)

Friday, April 17, 2015 7:00 PM FREE
(Abdolreza Kahani, 2009, Iran, DVD, 90 min.)

Twenty, produced by Pouran Derakhshandeh is the story of the abusive relationship between Soleimani, the owner of a reception hall, and his employees. Suffering from psychological problems, Soleimani decides to close down the hall in twenty days. The film narrates the personal and collective suffering of the employees facing the abuse of their employer and the uncertainty of the future. Shot mostly in closed spaces and directed with exquisite attention to details, Twenty is a humanist allegory of contemporary Iran. It won several international and national awards including the Special Jury Prize at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (2009).

Introduced by Northwestern Professor and MENA director Brian T. Edwards.

Q&A with producer Pouran Derakhshandeh and Professor Hamid Naficy following the screening.



Poetry on Public Television: the 1960s

Thursday, April 23, 2015 7:00 PM FREE

The Northwestern University Poetry and Poetics Colloquium presents an evening of rare documentary films on African-American poets, all produced for National Educational Television in the mid-1960s. Writers include Robert Duncan, John Wieners, Gwendolyn Brooks, Leopold Sédar Senghor, David Rubadiri, and a variety of concrete poets. The program opens the symposium “Radical Poetics: Archives, Forms, Social Movements.” 

16mm prints courtesy of the Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive

Concrete Poetry (Michael Warshaw, Pyramid Film and Video, 1968, US, 16mm, 12 min.)

Experimental visualizations of poems from Emmett Williams’s An Anthology of Concrete Poetry (Something Else Press, 1968)

Robert Duncan and John Wieners (Richard O. Moore, WNET US: Poetry Series, 1966, US, 16mm, 30 min.)

Moore’s cinema verité-inflected documentary records Duncan at his San Francisco home, where he reads and discusses his poems, the Vietnam War, and the paintings of Jess. Duncan and Wieners visit the now-abandoned Hotel Wentley, where Wieners reads from The Hotel Wentley Poems.

Gwendolyn Brooks (Aida Aronoff, WNET Creative Persons Series, 1966, US, 16mm, 29 min.)

Brooks reads and discusses her poetry, accompanied by scenes from urban Chicago that inform her work.

David Rubadiri, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Bernard Fonlon, Wole Soyinka (Lewis Nkosi, WNET African Writers of Today Series, 1964, US, 16mm, 29 min.)

Host Lewis Nkosi introduces Senghor and the concept of Negritude, and visits a classroom in Nyasaland, where poet-scholar David Rubadiri teaches the poetry of Wole Soyinka.

With an introduction from Northwestern University Professor of English Harris Feinsod. Preceded by a 6pm reception at Block Cinema.


Sonic Celluloid

Friday, May 8, 2015 8:00 PM

Sonic Celluloid is a collaboration between WNUR, Northwestern University’s student-run, non-commercial radio station (89.3 FM), and Block Cinema. Now in its thirteenth year, Sonic Celluloid is a special event that features musicians performing live with their own original compositions or improvised scores to silent and experimental films of their choosing. This year's bands include Eartheater, M. Sage and Nicholas Szcepanik.


A&O Films Presents: The Shining

Thursday, May 14, 2015 7:00 PM FREE
(Stanley Kubrick, 1980, US, 35mm, 144 min.)

Jack Torrance is hired to take care of the Overlook Hotel during a winter offseason. His family in tow, they travel to the isolated hotel. Jack begins to unravel as the hotel’s morbid past returns. Kubrick famously departs from the literary source and relies on mood to overwhelm viewers with a sense of dread. The Shining stands amongst a distinguished group of auteur driven horror films. One of Stanley Kubrick’s most often referenced masterpieces, spawning parodies and even an entire film of fan-theories; The Shining has made an indelible imprint on popular culture.


Consuming Spirits by Chris Sullivan

Friday, May 22, 2015 7:00 PM FREE

Northwestern University’s Department of Art Theory & Practice will host Chicago-based animator, performance artist and experimental filmmaker, Chris Sullivan for a screening of his film, Consuming Spirits (2012), a handmade independent feature animation shot frame-by-frame on 16mm using paper cut outs, models, and tracing paper cell animation. The film chronicles the lives of three characters that live in a rust belt town called Magguson and work at its local newspaper The Daily Suggester. They are: Gentian Violet 42, Victor Blue 38 and Earl Gray 64, who first appear to be acquaintances. But as the film unfolds, we find they have a long diabolical history, revolving around social service intervention, foster care, romance and hatred. Each character has family secrets to hide, and family secrets to discover. An auto accident one dark and alcohol-filled night causes a crack in the memory vault of these intimate strangers. By film's end all parties walk from the woods, both healed and wounded. https://vimeo.com/16781367

"Critic's Pick.  Entirely original. . .an inquiry into the darkest zones of the human heart. . .Weaves a complicated, intoxicating spell…a wonder."
- A.O. Scott, New York Times

There will be a Q&A with Chris Sullivan following the screening.


Rare Baseball Films

Friday, June 5, 2015 7:00 PM

Rare Baseball Films returns for its eleventh year. Organized by Wexner Center for the Arts Director of Film/Video Dave Filipi. Before televisions became domestic fixtures, these newsreels allowed fans to watch players from around the country in action—and now they let you relive some of the best moments in the history of the game. Come out and see such greats as Babe Ruth; Willie Mays; Jackie, Brooks, and Frank Robinson; and baseball played by Little Leaguers, on donkeys, in canoes, and more! Special thanks to the UCLA Film & Television Archive for its assistance with this program. Thanks also to Paul Gordon, Library and Archives Canada; the Dawson City Museum and Historical Society Collection; and Bill Morrison. Video, approximately 120 min.

Introduced by Dave Filipi, Director of Film/Video at the Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University.

Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at block-museum@northwestern.edu