Iranian artist and filmmaker Mania Akbari brings personal new work to Block Cinema

Block Museum hosts Chicago premiere of A Moon for My Father (2019) At age 30, acclaimed artist and filmmaker Mania Akbari was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy.  This experience became the core of the Iranian director’s personal new work A Moon for My Father (2019), an essay film made in collaboration with her partner, the British sculptor Douglas White. On...

“I invest in myself and I make my films”: Jessie Maple on breaking boundaries and filmmaking [Audio]

Director Jessie Maple is a true trailblazer: the first African-American woman to join the International Photographers of Motion Picture & Television union, she also established a long-running venue for independent Black filmmakers in her own home. New York Women in Film and Television called Maple’s work “a forerunner of the independent, minority filmmaking that would cultivate...

The Block receives NEA grant to support series of rare Indian cinema

On January 15, 2020 the National Endowment for the Arts announced its support of 1,187 national grants. The Block Museum was proud to be included among this list of national arts recipients receiving federal funding. The NEA will be a major supporter of the groundbreaking cinema program Morning Will Come: Modernity in Indian Cinema. This is the first NEA grant awarded specifically to a project...

“Something unexpected underneath the surface”: Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom on “The Elephant Man” [Audio]

On October 10, 2019 Block Cinema joined with Northwestern's MA in Sound Arts and Industries to welcome Academy-Award-Winning Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom for a discussion of David 's Lynch's 1980 classic The Elephant Man. Although noted for its evocative black and white cinematography and for John Hurt’s sensitive and powerful performance as Merrick, the film’s emotional landscape derives,...

Yvonne Welbon on the “Hidden Figures” of Cinema History [Audio]

On October 16, 2019, to inaugurate a year of programming around the One Book One Northwestern 2019-2020 selection, Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women who Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space, Block Cinema welcomed Chicago-based filmmaker (and Northwestern Film Studies PhD) Yvonne Welbon to present her 2003 documentary Sisters in Cinema. In the film, Welbon...

Meet Block Museum Fellow Simran Bhalla

In September 2019 the Block Museum welcomed Simran Bhalla as a 2019-2020 graduate fellow.  Block Museum Graduate Fellowships are offered to two graduate students annually, one from Art History and one from any department within the Graduate School.  Graduate Fellows are integral members of the museum staff and support projects through exhibition and collection research,...

Block Museum brings rare Latin American films to Chicago

Ism Ism Ism is the first major survey of Latin American experimental cinema in U.S. The Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University has announced that it will bring the groundbreaking film program “Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America (Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Cine experimental en América Latina)” to Chicago Oct. 3 to Nov. 16 in partnership with four other venues in Chicago....

Judith Arcana, Reproductive Rights Pioneer, in Conversation [Audio]

In the four years before the Roe v. Wade ruling made abortion legal in the United States, a clandestine organization of Chicago women offered low-cost, safe and confidential services to over 11,000 women—the Jane Collective. The film "Jane: An Abortion Service" offers an invaluable oral history, through the words of women who founded, operated, and consulted the service. The Block Museum of Art...

Filmmaker Talkback: Nathaniel Dorsky on “The Arboretum Cycle”

Since the 1960s, experimental filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky has been making a distinctive and stunning body of work. His silent 16mm films are lyrical explorations of the world around him, focused on the textures, colors, and rhythms of everyday objects and movements. His sharp eye for details reveals the small moments of beauty and wonder to be found everywhere, if one would simply take the time to...

Filmmaker’s Talkback: Director Kyle Henry and Writer Carlos Treviño on “Rogers Park”

Local filmmaker and Northwestern professor Kyle Henry’s Rogers Park captures the life, diversity, and flavor of the northside Chicago neighborhood in its story of two couples as they attempt to keep their relationships afloat. Henry and screenwriter Carlos Treviño craft a film that is both universal in its characters’ raw and authentic emotional lives and a specific and rich portrait of a...