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Block Cinema

Block Auditorium

The Block Museum is home to one of the region’s most innovative cinemas. Through its quarterly screening series “Block Cinema,” the museum offers a balanced and expansive program that presents film and other time-based media across genres, from classic to experimental, with a global perspective.

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 stable of the Block Museum’s exhibition program.

Films By Date

Oct167 PM

Sisters in Cinema: An Evening with Yvonne Welbon

To inaugurate a year of programming around the One Book One Northwestern 2019-2020 selection, "Hidden Figures" Block Cinema welcomes Chicago-based filmmaker Yvonne Welbon.
Oct177 PM

Nostalgia for the Light (2010)

This moving film explores Chile’s Atacama desert, home to one of the world’s most powerful observatories—and to the bones of hundreds of political prisoners abducted and murdered by the military regime.
Oct187 PM

Ism, Ism, Ism: Countercultures and Undergrounds

This program explores countercultural and underground practices across a range of local and global movements.
Oct237:30 PM

One Way or Another (1974/1977)

A film using a fictional love story between a man and woman from vastly different backgrounds to study the complexity of post-revolutionary Cuban society.
Oct247 PM

The Red Light Bandit (1968)

This delirious “Third World western” offers a subversive, New Wave-inspired spin through the trash heap of Brazilian pop culture.
Oct257 PM

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror

A look at  the alternately problematic and affirming history of Black Americans in the horror genre, in front of and behind the camera
Oct317 PM

I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

The darkest shadow cast in this Gothic melodrama is the one cast by the island’s ugly history of slavery and colonialism.
Nov18:30 PM

Ism, Ism, Ism: Estrellas de Ayer: Latin Camp

Filmmakers in borrow an alternative reading of Hollywood stars, emphasizing queer nostalgia and excess.
Nov17 PM

Ism, Ism Ism: Recycled Cinema 

Presenting acts of decolonization and critique through collages of appropriated images and audio, challenging dominant modes of representation.
Nov212:30 PM & 3 PM

2019 Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation

A thoughtfully-curated showcase of animation that features brand-new work, recent discoveries, and tantalizing retrospective selections.
Nov77 PM

The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016)

The Block welcomes Toronto-based filmmaker Brett Story for two nights of her acclaimed documentary films.
Nov87 PM

The Hottest August (2019)

Brett Story’s newest film is billed as “a film about climate change, disguised as a portrait of collective anxiety.”
Nov147 PM

Spotlight on Undergraduate Filmmaking

This screening celebrates Northwestern student filmmakers with a showcase of recent work.
Nov157 PM

Whose Streets? (2017)

 A searing, up-close and personal document of the resistance movement that emerged in the wake of the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by Missouri police.
Nov217 PM

Amazements: Videos by Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby

For 25 years, Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby have been producing one of the most singular and exciting bodies of work in experimental cinema.
Nov227 PM

Andy Warhol's The Life of Juanita Castro (1965)

Andy Warhol's loosely-scripted, irreverent portrait of Fidel Castro and his family.
Dec67 PM

When the Earth Trembled, or The Strength of Love (1913)

A selection of early films that survive purely by chance or only as fragments with live accompaniment. 

Film Series

Made in Chicagoland

Made in Chicagoland

September 26 Through November 14
Block Cinema continues its ongoing series of screenings spotlighting the work of filmmakers from Northwestern and the larger Chicago community with two screenings that focus on local organizations that support diversity in media making, on-campus and off.

Pop América

Pop América

October 24 Through November 22
Pop América, 1965-1975 presents Pop Art as a cultural dialogue transgressing the borders of nations, the boundaries of media, and the limits of “good taste.” The same can be said of these two films, made in Brazil and the United States, which speak to each other in languages borrowed equally from advertisements, news reports, soap operas, and the avant-garde.

Perspectives on Horror

Perspectives on Horror

October 10 Through October 31
This October, Block Cinema explores the history of horror cinema through a variety of critical and creative lenses. Pairing new documentaries and classic films with in-depth introductions and discussions, including guest appearances by celebrated artists and scholars, this series promises to shed new light on film fright.

Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America

Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America

October 3 Through November 1
Presented in conjunction with the Block'’'s exhibition Pop América:1965-1975, Block Cinema screens selected programs from Ism, Ism, Ism, a groundbreaking touring film series that offers the first comprehensive survey of Latin America’s vibrant experimental film history. Organized by filmmakers and curators/critics Jesse Lerner and Luciano Piazza as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time II: LA/LA initiative, these programs feature key works made between the 1930s and the 2000s across the Americas. The Block will host five programs from the series, and will copresent another six programs at venues around Chicago.

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

October 26 Through October 23
Drawing on the example of the 2019-2020 One Book One Northwestern selection, Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures, Block Cinema presents a yearlong series celebrating the history of women of color behind the camera.