Celluloid is as Good as Ten Mothers: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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Celluloid is as Good as Ten Mothers

Close up of 16mm film strip, one frame of garlic another frame of old man holding "The Book of Garlic"
Image credit: film print of GARLIC IS AS GOOD AS TEN MOTHERS (1980) Les Blank
7 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Fri September 23, 2022
7 PM


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


Open to the public



Celluloid is as Good as Ten Mothers

(Various artists, 1963-1980, approx. 82 min, 16mm)


After a decade of running films at the Block, our long-time projectionist is saying farewell this fall. Join us for an all 16mm celebratory celluloid send-off with a program of films selected by Rebecca from some of her favorite archives.

Projectionist Notes:

The films in this program are only related in that they’re all on 16mm, they come from film archives or distributors that are still doing the hard work of caring for film prints, and I love them. When I started at the Block my knowledge of experimental film was minimal, I barely knew who or what Canyon Cinema (one of the most important collections of non-commercial moving image work in the country) was, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to get picture and audio in sync on our 16mm projector. Now, after projecting and watching nearly every film that’s screened at the Block in the past 10 years, thankfully those things are no longer true. Hopefully. The main feature in the program is GARLIC IS AS GOOD AS TEN MOTHERS, Les Blank’s joyous life-affirming ode to stinky garlic and the wild Bay area food scene (including appearances from a young Ruch Reichl and Alice Waters), in a 16mm print direct from Les Blank Films. Preceded by two of my favorite experimental shorts from the aforementioned Canyon Cinema, Bruce Baillie’s LITTLE GIRL, and Kenneth Anger’s RABBIT’S MOON, and a grin-inducing, deeply weird sponsored film made by the Goldsholl Associates in a print sourced from our local archive friends at the Chicago Film Archives.


GARLIC IS AS GOOD AS TEN MOTHERS (Les Blank, 1980, 51 min, 16mm)

LITTLE GIRL (Bruce Baillie, 1966/restored 2013, 10 min, 16mm)

RABBIT'S MOON (Kenneth Anger, 1972, 16 min, 16mm)

ENVELOPE JIVE (Millie Goldsholl, 1963, 5 min, 16mm)


Warning: The films in this program are beautiful and fun, and you’ll probably have a good time.

With gratitude to Canyon Cinema, Chicago Film Archives, and Les Blank Films for providing the prints, and Rebecca Lyon for selecting the films.


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