Special Programs - Spring: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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Special Programs - Spring

Special Programs - Spring

Event Details

Date & Time:

Fri April 19, 2013 - Fri June 14, 2013


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


This spring we’re delighted to present several special film events, including many programs with in-person guests.

Our spring calendar commences with a screening of the 1968 film, Story of a Three-Day Pass with writer-director Melvin Van Peebles in person! Van Peebles will be featured in conversation with acclaimed writer and NU Associate Professor Thomas Bradshaw.      

Also screening is The Radiant, the latest film by acclaimed British filmmakers, The Otolith Group, which focuses on the 2011 partial meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

And finally, two of our most popular annual programs return in May and June, including Sonic Celluloid, which features musicians performing live to silent and experimental films, and another edition of the Rare Baseball Films program with rarely seen newsreels featuring Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, World Series clips of both the Cubs and White Sox, and much more!


The Story of a Three-Day Pass

Friday, April 19, 2013 7:00 PM FREE
(Melvin Van Peebles, 1968, France, 35mm, 87 min.)

Best known for his 1971 Blacksploitation classic Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, Chicago-born Melvin Van Peebles’ first feature was this less militant, but equally political, exploration of race. It’s the simple story of Turner, an African-American soldier stationed in France who is given leave and goes to visit Paris. There, he begins a romance with Miriam, a young white shop clerk. They spend the weekend together, but the reactions of others to the interracial couple become a complicating distraction. Not surprisingly, since it was shot in France, Three-Day Pass has a clear New Wave influence and a jazzy, improvisational feel.

IN PERSON: Melvin Van Peebles with NU Associate Professor Thomas Bradshaw.

Co-presented with CIMMFest.



Wednesday, April 24, 2013 7:00 PM FREE
(Alfred Hitchcock, 1960, USA, 35mm, 109 min.)

Loosely based on the notorious Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein, Psycho builds on Hitchcock’s masterful use of suspense and psychological terror, adding a new layer of visceral shocks. Anthony Perkins gives a career-defining performance as a motel owner with a dark side and serious mother issues. Janet Leigh is a thieving secretary on the run who stops at the wrong place for the night. Bernard Herrmann’s piercing score and John L. Russell’s stark black and white cinematography both reinforce the palpable unease that threads its way through this still modern-feeling masterpiece. Do we even have to mention the shower scene?

Co-presented with A&O Films.


The Radiant

Friday, May 3, 2013 7:30 PM FREE
(The Otolith Group, 2012, UK, video, 64 min.)

The acclaimed British arts collective The Otolith Group has been making compelling and politically engaged work for more than a decade. Their newest video, The Radiant, focuses on the 2011 partial meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The film looks back at the last century’s promise of nuclear power as a clean and safe energy source while contemplating the present and future impact of the disaster. The Radiant combines newly shot footage of landscapes and infrastructure, amateur footage of the tsunami that led to the meltdown, vintage promotional films and footage of the plant’s construction, and interviews in an associational montage that is both riveting and disturbing.


Chicago Portraits on Film

Thursday, May 9, 2013 7:00 PM FREE

This free program of student-made short documentary films about Chicago people and places was inspired by this year’s One Book One Northwestern, Alex Kotlowitz’s Never a City So Real, which features portraits of some of the author’s favorite Chicago neighborhoods and citizens. This corresponding film program includes recent documentary shorts as diverse and multifaceted as the Windy City itself, all of them made by Northwestern students from various disciplines.

Movies showing include: 
The Jazz Showcase: Throughout the Years, Director: Matt Rhodes
Under the Radar: Street Food Vendors in Chicago, Director: Miranda Viglietti
Chicago Street Performers, Director: Spenser Gabin
The Alley Gallery, Directors: Matt McDonald and Jack Foster
Welcome Home, Directors: Katie Prentiss, Diane Tsai and Christina Walker
Borrowed Time, Directors: Kaitlyn Laabs and Eryn Rogers
Diva, Directors: Dan Tham, Ashley Gates and Yoonie Yang

Winners will be announced during the program. Approximate running time is 70 minutes.


Sonic Celluloid

Friday, May 10, 2013 8:00 PM

Sonic Celluloid is a collaboration between WNUR, Northwestern's student-run, non-commercial radio station (89.3 FM), and Block Cinema. Now in its tenth year, Sonic Celluloid is a special event that features musicians performing live with their own original compositions or improvised scores to silent and experimental films of their choosing. Performers this year include Madalyn Merkey, Autumn Drones, Expo '70, and more!

Approximate running time is 2 hours. It will be loud!

Special thanks to Lily Oberman, Gillian Levy, Kristian Ayala, and Daniel Sloan of WNUR for organizing


The Kings of Summer

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 7:00 PM FREE
(Chris Galletta, 2013, USA, 35mm, 93 min.)

Free Sneak Preview! Premiering to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, The Kings of Summer is a unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenage friends – Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and the eccentric and unpredictable Biaggio (Moises Arias) - who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land. Free from their parents’ rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate the fact that family - whether it is the one you’re born into or the one you create – is something you can't run away from.


Rare Baseball Films

Friday, June 14, 2013 7:30 PM

For the ninth year in a row, and with the baseball season in full swing, we’re celebrating our national pastime with another edition of Rare Baseball Films, organized by curator Dave Filipi. This year, like in 2012, the program draws on newsreels from the Hearst Metrotone News Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Before televisions became fixtures in homes, these newsreels allowed fans to actually watch players from around the country in action. Come out and see such greats as Joe DiMaggio, Christy Mathewson, Willie Mays, and Hack Wilson, footage from the Negro and Japanese leagues, World Series clips of both the Cubs and White Sox, and more!

Special thanks to Todd Wiener and Steven Hill of the UCLA Film & Television Archive for their assistance with this program. (Video. Program length is approximately 100 minutes.)

IN PERSON:  Dave Filipi, Director of Film/Video at the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at block-museum@northwestern.edu