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

Feb107 PM

The American Sector (2020) with filmmaker Courtney Stephens

At once a landscape essay, history lesson, and collective psychological portrait of the post-Cold War United States, The American Sector asks troubling and timely questions about the shifting relationship between monuments and ideology.
Feb117 PM

Terra Femme (2021) live documentary-performance with Courtney Stephens

A live documentary-performance hybrid in which Courtney Stephens investigates the history of women as travel filmmakers from the 1920s-1950s, asking questions about gender and genre.
Feb167 PM

The Birdpeople (2004)

Michael Gitlin’s experimental essay film The Birdpeople indexes the North American social-cultural phenomena of birding with wry humor and elegiac attentiveness to humans and birds alike. Presented in 16mm.
Feb187 PM

Wilmington 10 – USA 10,000 (1979)

Nearly unseen for decades, Haile Gerima's radical documentary about wrongfully convicted civil rights activists screens at the Block in a new restoration. Post-screening discussion by Allyson Nadia Field.
Feb257 PM

Holding Binoculars, Pointing a Camera: A Cinema of Birdwatching

A program of short films centered on birds and birdwatching practices as vectors of social and personal investigation. With works by Kevin Jerome Everson, Margaret Tait, and additional artists. Frédéric Moffet, Deborah Stratman, and Joelle Mercedes in person for post-screening discussion.
Mar26 PM

Block Cinema Artist Talk: Crystal Z. Campbell -- Notes from Black Wall Street

Join us for an artist talk with Oklahoma-born and based multidisciplinary artist Crystal Z. Campbell on her recent body of work, NOTES FROM BLACK WALL STREET.
Mar37 PM

Environments of Struggle: Crystal Z. Campbell and Christopher Harris

Join us for an evening with artists and filmmakers Crystal Z. Campbell and Christopher Harris
Mar47 PM

Flesh to Spirit: Materiality and Abstraction in Black Experimental Film

"Flesh to Spirit" explores the manifold ways that film artists have embraced abstract techniques and explored the materiality of film and video to represent Black experience, from the 1960s to the present. Following the screening, filmmakers Paige Taul and Christopher Harris will appear for a discussion and Q&A.

Explore conversations and stories from past Block Cinema programs