Reimagining the Remote: Chicago Humanities Initiative students partner with Block Cinema to consider digital possibilities

In Summer 2020, The Block Museum of Art is thrilled to be among Chicago arts and cultural organizations partnering with the Northwestern Chicago Humanities Initiative (CHI). The CHI program prepares the next generation of humanities scholars to develop community partnerships, reach diverse audiences, and become powerful civic leaders. Through an eight-week internship with an arts, […]

“How do we come to believe this is the way things have to be:” Filmmaker Brett Story on the politics of access and observation

In November 2019, The Block welcomed Toronto-based filmmaker Brett Story for two nights of her acclaimed documentary films and conversation on her groundbreaking practice. The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016) explores the criminal justice system and mass incarceration in the U.S. from a number of oblique vantage points, rather than focusing on prisons themselves. Story looks […]

“They said you can’t make a film like this”: Lizzie Borden on revolution, race, and radical action in”Born in Flames” [Audio]

Set in an alternate-reality socialist democratic United States, Lizzie Borden’s speculative fiction Born in Flames (1983) finds the country still plagued by social injustice. This feminist classic is a low-budget, grassroots production, documentary-like in its reflection of a long-gone grungy yet vibrant downtown New York City. Made at the height of the Reagan years, it […]

“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 directors […]

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 […]

“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 […]