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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

Jan23

Families in Transition

This program brings together two documentary stories about families navigating the complexities of gender across generational and cultural lines.
Jan247 PM

A Night with the Shabistan Film Archive

This special event will feature a conversation with executive director David Farris, and Northwestern professor and Shabistan operations director David Boyk. They will present rare reels from Shabistan’s singular film collection.
Jan307 PM

Interview (1971)

Bengali filmmaker Mrinal Sen pioneered a bracing blend of political modernism and popular appeal with "Interview," the first film in his celebrated “Calcutta Trilogy.”
Jan317 PM

Twice as Nice (1989) with filmmaker Jessie Maple

Director Jessie Maple is a true trailblaze as the first African-American woman to join the International Photographers of Motion Picture & Television union. Block Cinema welcomes the filmmaker for a presentation of "Twice as Nice" rarely seen for decades.
Feb6 7 PM

Brick and Mirror (1965)

"Brick and Mirror" was the Golestan Film Workshop’s only feature film, but it had an enormous impact on Iranian cinema, and garnered international acclaim.
Feb77 PM

The Runaway (1958)

Bengali auteur Ritwik Ghatak brings his unique gift for stylistic play and trenchant social observation to this story of a runaway child lost in the big city.
Feb127 PM

Three Films by Forugh Farrokhzad and Ebrahim Golestan

The Golestan Film Workshop was a collective of leftist Iranian artists that mostly produced commissioned films for the National Iranian Oil Company in the 1950s and 60s. These three films demonstrate the rich aesthetic possibilities of the sponsored film.
Feb137 PM

Electro-Pythagoras (a portrait of Martin Bartlett) (2017) with sound designer Ernst Karel

"Electro-Pythagoras" turns the conventions of biographical documentary on their head, weaving personal photographs, letters, notes, rare performances, and new 16mm footage into a dense, evocative fugue.
Feb147 PM

Pyaasa (Thirst) (1957)

Guru Dutt’s melancholy romantic drama is an icon of Hindi cinema’s golden age. Dutt, who counts among India’s greatest directors, also stars in the film as Vijay, a poor poet searching for recognition and respect.
Feb206 PM

The Fabulous Life and Thought of Ahmad Fardid (2015) – Hamed Yousefi in Conversation

Director Hamed Yousefi discusses his film "The Fabulous Life and Thought of Ahmad Fardid" with W.J.T Mitchell and Hannah Feldman.
Feb217 PM

Gelin (The Bride) (1973)

Regularly cited as one of the best Turkish films of all time, Ömer Lütfi Akad’s "The Bride" narrates the struggles of a family who moves from rural Anatolia to modern Istanbul.
Feb277 PM

Compensation (1999)

Zeinabu irene Davis’ 1999 feature is one of the most formally audacious and emotionally resonant films ever made in Chicago.
Feb287 PM

Present.Perfect (2019) with filmmaker Shengze Zhu

Shengze Zhu’s award-winning experimental documentary surveys contemporary China through the lives of live-streaming “anchors” broadcasting their everyday experiences to audiences around the world.
Mar57 PM

A Moon For My Father (2019) with filmmaker Mania Akbari

Rich in texture and astonishingly intimate, Akbari’s film presents memory as a poetic, embodied experience.
Mar127 PM

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (2019) with sound designer Tom Myers and writer/producer Bobette Buster

For this special screening, Block Cinema welcomes Skywalker Sound designer Tom Myers and Writer/Producer Bobette Buster for an in-depth discussion.
Mar137 PM

Badnam Basti (Alley of Ill Repute) (1971)

Badnam Basti is considered one of the first Indian films to explore queer relationships. Although the film was recut and rereleased in 1978, it has since faded into obscurity; until recently, it was presumed lost.