Block Cinema - Press Coverage: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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Block Cinema - Press Coverage

Media coverage of the Block Cinema program

The Daily Northwestern
Block Museum Curator of Media Arts Michael Metzger said the screening spoke to contemporary Indigenous perspectives, and he was attracted to Maxy’s films because of their “timeliness, urgency and originality.” Maxy’s films employ digital aesthetics and social media to show contemporary issues confronting Indigenous communities, such as environmental destruction and the assaults on sovereignty, Metzger added. “Unlike many mainstream representations that position native life as trapped in the past, Fox’s films speak to present-day struggles and contemplate the possibilities for Indigenous futures,” Metzger said.”
Rayna Song, November 11, 2020
Maxy’s cultural and political aims, however, are clear. An Indigenous artist, Maxy punctures the lived experiences of his people and epitomize the problems facing Native societies at large. There’s immense joy in these works as well, and this reflects the inner duality of oppressed people as they experience jubilance amidst persecution. ”
Kathleen Sachs, October 31, 2020
The Daily Northwestern
“We really wanted to provide a context for people to come together around these films that are under-seen and… develop further discourse in English language about Arab feminism and cinema,””
Rayna Song, October 28, 2020
Screen Slate
The frankness of the scenes will perhaps be surprising to western eyes, but ultimately, Baccar’s film is highlighting something else. By celebrating the achievements of women in the independence movement — their invaluable and necessary participation — Baccar’s call to complete the unfinished work of equality for women in the then present, becomes clear.”
Chris Shields, October 22, 2020
Girish Shambu
A striking Arab feminist film series, full of rarities from the past, is being hosted this month by the Block Cinema of Chicago. I have not been able to stop thinking about last week’s film, The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni (2011), by Lebanese director Rania Stephan. Tantalizingly hard to define, it is a found-footage film, an experimental biopic, an essay-portrait suspended between fiction and documentary.”
Girish Shambu, October 22, 2020
The paucity of films from Tunisia is reason enough to see FATMA 75 in this new digital restoration by Africa in Motion, but Baccar gives audiences so much more in recounting the history of this colonized land and the women who have worked over the millennia to make it a better, more equitable homeland. ”
Marilyn Ferdinand, October 21, 2020
Sporadically manipulated and shrewdly edited, the work is a revisionist biopic as well as a historical epic; it reflects the trajectory of Hosni’s life and the ever-changing society in which the films were made.”
Kathleen Sachs, October 15, 2020
LEILA AND THE WOLVES, the second feature by Lebanese director Heiny Srour—whose 1974 debut film, the documentary THE HOUR OF LIBERATION HAS ARRIVED, showed at Cannes, making her the first female Arab filmmaker to exhibit at the festival—is fiercely imaginative as it combines narrative and documentary elements (some of its footage even shot amongst the Lebanese and Syrian Civil Wars) to explore the collective memory of Arab women”
Kathleen Sachs, October 2, 2020
The Daily Northwestern
“Our goal was to make work that could be both pedagogical and creative with a model that inside artists would be educators to outside communities about issues around criminalization and incarceration,” Sarah Ross, co-director of art and exhibitions for PNAP, said.”
Yonjoo Seo, September 25, 2020
Times of India
"Slowly, the seminal film fell off the map till experts located a print in Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art’s collection, Berlin. The black and white film was streamed online earlier this month, courtesy Block Museum, Northwestern University.”
Avijit Ghosh, May 27, 2020
Organized by the Block Museum of Art, the documentary series is produced by students of the Young People’s Race, Power, and Technology (YPRPT) project. YPRPT is an afterschool program developed in partnership with community organizations, including the Northwestern/ETHS Partnership Office and Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. The focus is to bring students and community members together to jointly investigate the ethical and social dimensions of specific law enforcement technologies such as facial recognition and gang databases.”
June 12, 2020
"In the discussion moderated by Michael Metzger, Sudhir Mahadevan (associate professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle) said, “Badnam Basti is queer in the true sense of the word, that it is transgressive for its time, channeling an unstable circuit of desire without reductive social realism.””
Manish Gaekwad, May 29, 2020
The Daily Northwestern
“India’s LGBTQ movement has been gaining ground the last couple of decades, and so I think there’s a lot of interest in this film to see this thing that we thought that we never talked about,”Bhalla said. “It’s really important to understand how we thought about sexuality, how we govern sexuality, and it’s just important for reflecting on our past.””
Katie Jahns, May 7, 2020
An essayistic reflection on one film’s assembled iconography of modernness between architectural form and social habit, “Ciudad Moderna” ultimately scales up to broader questions of how culture at large has performed the modern city.”
Marina Resende Santos, March 9, 2020
The Daily Northwestern
“The camera can be a way of seeing yourself from the outside or of getting some distance, either with yourself or between yourself and the people around you. It’s another way of creating intimacy or changing the terms of a relationship."”
Aaron Wang, January 23, 2020
Chicago Reader
With "Amazements" Duke and Battersby provide a largely engrossing and refreshing view of some of the fundamental questions of human existence, and even manage to have a bit of a laugh while doing it.”
Adam Mullins-Khatib, November 21
The Daily Northwestern
“This program promises to profoundly revise the way we understand the history of artists’ cinema,” Metzger said. “These underseen works expand the conversation around the 20th century’s visual culture, which can be transformative for a new generation of artists, scholars and filmgoers.””
Aaron Wang, October 16, 2019
North by Northwestern
“Of all film genres, horror is really the one that benefits the most from being seen in a group with other people, where it is a part of a collective experience,” said Metzger. ”
Lami Zhang, October 10, 2019
Chicago Reader
With films from more than a dozen countries screening at venues from Evanston to Pilsen, you wouldn't be wrong to count "Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America" ("Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Cine Experimental en América Latina") among the most wide-ranging festivals of its kind to appear in Chicago in recent years.”
Catey Sullivan, October 3, 2019
Chicago Reader
In My First Film, Anger critiques the flawed system that’s shaped her career. More importantly, she gives herself the space and agency to find out what it is she wants to say with her art when she doesn’t seek approval from the outside world.”
Cody Corrall, October 3, 2019
Chicago Reader
"I think that's definitely part of the challenge of programming, and the delight of programming Varda's films is that she worked across six decades and her body of work is so diverse and represents an amazing array of styles, from documentary to narrative, experimental, and political reportage," says Michael Metzger, curator of media arts at the Block Museum”
Cody Corrall, July 10, 2019
The Daily Northwestern
"(It) was just a great experience to have him in and to be able to learn this unique way that he makes his work,” Henry said. “It opens up possibilities to say that there (aren’t) one or two or three ways to make a film; there are many ways to make a film." -Crystal Wall”
Crystal Wall, January 31, 2018
"WBEZ film contributor and director at Facets Chicago, Milos Stehlik, interviews the world’s great filmmakers. Today, he chats with renowned Iranian-Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi. [Ghobadi's] 'films tackle a variety of themes such as justice, dispossession and movement. Some ... focus on the plight of the Kurdish people … [and] modern-day Iran.'" ”
Steve Bynum, May 25, 2018
Northwestern Now
"Ghobadi’s films tackle a variety of themes such as justice, dispossession and movement. Some of the films focus on the plight of the Kurdish people while others shed a light on modern-day Iran." -Mohamed Abdelfattah ”
Mohamed Abdelfattah, May 22, 2018
Time Out Chicago
"Chan unpacks the violent and sexual themes of Henry Darger’s The Story of the Vivian Girls through an 18-minute looping animation inspired by the artist's work." -Zach Long ”
Zach Long, June 29, 2018
Chicago Reader
"According to Dr. Daniel Berger, who curated both Chicago exhibits and will take part in a postshow discussion at the Block with curator Barry Blinderman, the continuing discovery of Wojnarowicz’s art couldn't be more timely. 'All the things that Wojnarowicz was talking about back in the 80s with regards to disenfranchised people—especially people who were sick—and how the government was apathetic to them . . . all those things seem to be coming up again,'" -Ben Sachs ”
Ben Sachs, July 20, 2018
Chicago Magazine
"FILM: During his short life, David Wojnarowicz created a considerable and celebrated body of work in paintings, photography, performances, sculpture, writing, and video. Wojnarowicz’s art focused on a critical response to the conditions of the world that surrounded him. The Block Museum hosts a one-day retrospective and conversation on his moving-image contributions." ”
July 19, 2018
Chicago Reader
"This Friday at 7 PM, Northwestern University’s Block Cinema will host one of the major cinematic events of the year with the local premiere of The Arboretum Cycle (2017), a collection of seven interconnected short works by veteran avant-garde filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky." -Ben Sachs ”
Ben Sachs, September 23, 2018
Cine-File Chicago
"There is power in his images: in the expressiveness of faces, in the muted colors and arid light, in the attention to detail. Gleyzer’s editing, too, works to build his message, through counterpoints created in crosscutting, but again, the editing is also frequently attuned to rhythm and movement. Revolutionary in message, yes; propagandistic in intent, yes; but still demonstrating an artistry despite his claims that film is just a tool." -PF ”
PF, September 28, 2018
Cine-File Chicago
"Dorsky’s ability to mine such grace and blooming elegance from the light captured in his neighborhood park is an amazing feat and should not be missed." -JBM ”
JBM, September 28, 2018
The Armenian Mirror-Spectator
"An Independent Spirit Award nominee, Mizrahi’s dreamy, Tarkovskian film opens November 2 with the director present in New York and runs till November 8 at The Metrograph, November 9 in Chicago (Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art in Evanston, Illinois) and November 26 in Boston again." ”
October 11, 2018
Chicago Reader
"Based in Los Angeles, the festival favors 'works made by individual artists, drawing on the lineage of avant -garde cinema as well as the tradition of classic character animation and cartooning,' with two free programs on Saturday at Block Museum of Art. The programs include dazzling abstract works that exploit the tension between geometry and the variegated forms of the natural world." ”
J.R. Jones, November 9, 2017
P.M. News
"[Odugbemi] belongs to a generation of Nollywood directors who see themselves not only as adapting the new global media resources, especially digital technologies, in creating unique cultural texts that capture the particular national histories, daily individual struggles and collective coping strategies of ordinary people in a postcolonial nation whose leaders have sold their souls to the devil, but also as crucial interventionists whose cultural work represent a certain kind of radical cultural politics and thought for progressive creative work in a time of massive social and cultural transformations."”
P.M. News, November 4, 2017
Pulse Nigeria
"Northwestern University in Chicago and Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois have very strong interrogative exchange programmes in African Studies and are particularly interested in Nollywood and its place as an art form that has done a lot to reinvent the global narrative of the African experience." Femi Odugbemi in conversation with Chidumga Izuzu”
October 27, 2017
NewCity Film
What’s kept Beste going for over twelve years? She says, 'At its core, it’s the films and artworks themselves. I love the work. At the same time, it’s this ongoing engagement with a medium that’s constantly changing—in terms of its technology, the way it engages audiences, viewers, and users, and its impact on contemporary life.' Beste is also working on an exhibition for the Block Museum of Art about Goldsholl Design Associates, a Chicago-based design firm headed by Mort and Millie Goldsholl, which made a name for itself from the 1950s to seventies with its 'designs-in-film.'"”
Ray Pride, September 28, 2017
The Daily Northwestern
"'I think people would enjoy coming to this event because they’ll see, still in a short amount of time, a more diverse range of works than they might necessarily see at another screening or event on campus,' Levy said. 'This is an opportunity for students on campus to see animated work, fiction films, music videos, documentaries and more that are made by their peers.'" ”
Emily Chaiet, May 17, 2017
"A symposium at Northwestern University examines the art scene before the Arab Spring uprising, when artists were creating works calling for change and challenging the political establishment."”
February 24, 2017
Chicago Tribune
"The exhibit includes sculptures, installations, videos and other works created by seven contemporary artists. Their work serves as an invitation to reflect on our nation’s past while contemplating the present, through objects, sounds and images that unlock memories." ”
Louise Burton, February 2, 2017