Block Cinema: Block Museum - Northwestern University
Skip to main content

Block Cinema

Block Auditorium

Block Cinema is dedicated to encounter, exchange, and learning through the art of the moving image.

The Block Museum is home to one of the region’s most innovative cinemas. Through its quarterly screening series “Block Cinema,” the museum explores the global past and present, showcasing film and other time-based media across genres, from classic to experimental.

This free, in-house cinema is dedicated to providing Northwestern, the North Shore, and Chicago a quality venue for film and to highlighting the diversity of voices and practices in the media arts field. Post-screening discussions with a filmmaker or scholar, are a staple of the program, providing a unique opportunity for audiences to gain valuable context about the works and offering unique insights into the creative process. In keeping with the Museum’s commitment to presenting art across time, culture, and media, media art is a staple of the Block Museum’s exhibition program.

Always free and open to all

Upcoming Screenings

Mar317 PM

Queer in Color: PUCE MOMENT (1949) and DESERT FURY (1947)

Two films from the 1940s that employ bold color to figure themes of camp, spectacle, and queer desire. Kenneth Anger's PUCE MOMENT presented on 16mm and Lewis Allen's DESERT FURY on 35mm.
Apr67 PM

Medical Projections: Surgery, Disease, Physiology, and Health in Early Cinema (1892-1909)

This program assembles a rich selection of late-19th and early-20th-century films that reflect the medical community’s growing interest in using cinema as a tool for documentation, diagnosis, and self-promotion, and the general public’s interest in the human body as a site of spectacle. The program draws from archival collections across the US, Europe, and Latin America. 
Apr77 PM

A Synesthete’s Atlas: Cartographic Improvisations Between Eric Theise and Ben Zucker

Real-time cartographic improvisations using projected, manipulated digital maps by Eric Theise, in live collaboration with Ben Zucker’s multi-instrumental transformations.
Apr137 PM

Urania and the Asclepiades: A Magic Lantern performance by Artemis Willis

A magic lantern performance that projects images from the fields of astronomy and medicine merge seamlessly on the screen, transporting us from the heavenly to the human and back, with possible detours.
Apr147 PM

TAHARA (2020) with filmmaker Olivia Peace

A screening of Olivia Peace's unconventional coming-of-age film TAHARA (2020) with filmmaker in person.

Apr207 PM

OUR HEAVENLY BODIES (1925) with live accompaniment

Director Hanns Walter Kornbum’s silent 1925 masterpiece takes viewers on an interstellar tour from the distant corners of the earth to the far reaches of the known universe. For this special presentation, sound artists Stephan Moore (RTVF) and Scott Smallwood will perform a live original score to the complete film; English narration of the film’s intertitles will be performed by Rives B. Collins, Professor of Theatre at Northwestern University. 
Apr217 PM

A SELF-INDUCED HALLUCINATION (2018) with director Jane Schoenbrun

Northwestern Cinematheque, a student cinema collective, presents a screening of A SELF-INDUCED HALLUCINATION (2018) with filmmaker Jane Schoenbrun in person.

May187 PM

A Siberian Poetics of Extinction in Cinema

A selection of two contemporary films that consider Siberian Indigenous livelihoods and cosmologies in the age of environmental change alongside shifting human and more-than-human entanglements. Followed by a recorded Q&A with directors Liesbeth De Ceulaer and Alisi Telengut. 
"We’re very conscious of the valuable role that university cinemas like ours can play in the ecosystem of non-theatrical film. We look for opportunities to support and showcase the work of distributors who are expanding access to adventurous cinema, archives that are preserving endangered cinematic legacies and scholars and filmmakers who are promoting a more inclusive film culture.
We try to act as a conduit between that international community of passionate cinema workers, and diverse local communities at Northwestern and beyond, who see cinema as a way to encounter the world and exchange ideas."

– Michael Metzger, Pick-Laudati Curator of Media Arts, Block Museum



Explore conversations and stories from past Block Cinema programs