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
Barbara Hammer: Mediated Sensuality
Barbara Hammer: Declarations of Identity
Our second program dedicated to Barbara Hammer’s pioneering work includes new prints of six films, including recent restorations of Sisters! (1973), Menses (1974), and Audience (1981).
The Image You Missed (2018)
Branco Sai, Preto Fica (White Out, Black In, 2014)
9 to 5 (1980)
Waiting for Happiness (2002)
Set in a Mauritanian coastal town at the edge of the Sahara Desert, Waiting for Happiness elliptically explores the gateways between Africa and Europe, tradition and modernity, childhood and adulthood.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)
NU DOCS Program 1: RETROSPECTIVES (2019)
We're proud to present the thesis films of the Class of 2019! Please join us for FREE for this first of three nights of screenings. Doors opens at 6:15pm for pre-screening reception.
NU Docs Program 2: TEMPORALITIES (2019)
NU DOCS Program 3: STRUCTURES (2019)
We're proud to present the thesis films of the Class of 2019! Please join us for FREE for this final of three nights of screenings.
One of the most distinctive and extreme environments in the world, the Sahara Desert has a fascinating cinematic history. While Western filmmakers have sought sublime spectacle among the dunes since the silent era, North African and sub-Saharan filmmakers have also used the desert as a backdrop for bold experiments in style and narrative. Programmed to complement the Block’s exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time, the diverse films in Saharan Exchanges prove that the vast expanses of the region cannot be exhausted by any single genre or perspective.
Visual Pleasures: The Work and Play of Women’s Liberation
This year’s One Book One Northwestern selection, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, imagines how the hard-fought economic and sexual freedoms won by the women’s movement might be stripped away. The films in this series, co-presented with One Book, the Northwestern Women’s Center, and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, manifest those freedoms in both form and content. Visual Pleasures encompasses both mainstream comedies of empowerment and experimental representations of desire through a distinctly female gaze, celebrating liberation through a spectrum of cinematic forms.
Personal Archives, Political Memories: The Radical Past in Contemporary Documentary
As activists around the world revisit the successes and failures of earlier political movements, a new wave of documentaries and essay films have begun to look beyond official archives, recovering lost, forgotten, and unseen images to tell stories of struggle. Whether incorporating family photos, home movies, or decades-old documents of protest, the films in this series explore turbulent histories through a distinctly personal lens.