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Northwestern Film in April

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Screenings of Block Cinema’s spring films “officially” begin April 13 with a new series that celebrates Paris -- the City of Light.

Other upcoming films include five, one-night-only special events, such as the April 27 showing of F. W. Murnau’s  “Sunrise,” a 1927 silent film masterpiece with live musical accompaniment by Matti Bye, a Stockholm-based musician who has composed an original score.

As a special treat, two films from India, directed by Satyajit Ray -- April 5, “The Home and the World” (Ghare Baire”) and April 6, “The Lonely Wife” (“Charulata”) -- will be screened. Both films are part of The Center for Global Culture and Communication’s Tagore/Ray Film Screenings and Symposium taking place on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. For more information, visit    

The “Paris Belongs to Us: The City of Light in Film” series toasts a city which has sparked the imagination of filmmakers for more than a century. It will feature 12 films -- many of them unavailable on DVD -- that illuminate the varied faces of the City of Light. Since cinema’s earliest days, Paris has served as an iconic backdrop, vibrant social milieu and gritty locale for every kind of film and story possible. For more details, visit

Block Cinema’s Paris film series is made possible by the generous support of the Institut Francais, The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York and Chicago’s Consulat general de France.

Films are screened in the James B. Pick and Rosalyn M. Laudati Auditorium at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. Free parking is available in the lot directly south of the museum.

Unless otherwise noted, general admission to Block Cinema screenings is $6 for the general public or $4 for Block Museum members, Northwestern faculty, staff and students, students from other schools with valid IDs, and individuals aged 65 and older. Quarterly passes are $20. Tickets are available one hour before showtime. For more information, call the Block Cinema Hotline at (847) 491-4000 or visit the Block Cinema website at


Tagore/Ray Films Screening and Symposium, “The Home and the World” (“Ghare Baire”), 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, Block Cinema (Satyajit Ray, 1985, India, 35 mm, 138 minutes). At her husband’s request Bimala comes out of seclusion to experience the world, but her innocence leaves her vulnerable to manipulation. Adapted from Nobel Prize-winning writer Rabindranath Tagore’s novel, Satyajit Ray’s film takes place against a backdrop of political turmoil in Bengal at the turn of the 20th century. Print courtesy of the Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center Collection at the Academy Film Archive. Admission is free.

Tagore/Ray Films Screening and Symposium, “The Lonely Wife” (“Charulata”), 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, Block Cinema (Satyajit Ray, 1964, India, 35 mm, 117 minutes). Charu, the young wife of a wealthy newspaper editor, feels stifled by her idle existence and yearns for intellectual freedom. The arrival of her husband’s idealistic cousin provides a creative outlet but also creates marital strife. Restored by the Satyajit Ray Preservation Project through a collaboration of the Academy Film Archive, the Merchant-Ivory Foundation and the Film Foundation. Print courtesy of the Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center Collection at the Academy Film Archive. Admission is free.

Paris in Film, “Goodbye First Love” (“Un amour de jeunesse”), 7 p.m. Friday, April 13, Block Cinema (Mia Hansen-Love, 2011, France, 35 mm, 110 minutes). In her third feature, French director Hansen-Love (The Father of My Children, 2009) follows Camille (Lola Creton), a Parisian teenager, and her tempestuous first relationship with Sullivan, an idealistic and slightly older young man. When Sullivan announces plans to leave school for an extended trip to South America, Camille is devastated and must grapple with a broken heart, though she eventually finds a welcome distraction in the form of her middle-aged architecture professor. Special advance screening courtesy of IFC Films. Admission is free for Northwestern students.

Paris in Film, “Paris Belongs to Us” (“Paris nous appartient”), 2 p.m. Saturday, April 14, Block Cinema (Jacques Rivette, 1960, France, 35 mm, 141 minutes). Rivette, a key figure and one of the most adventurous filmmakers of the French New Wave, grounds his first feature in a murder mystery. After the death of Spanish activist Juan, a young literature student, Anne, joins the cast of a production of Shakespeare’s “Pericles” to keep watch over its director, Gerard, who may be in danger himself. In this and his next several features, Rivette gives the city of Paris such a palpable presence that it can almost be considered another character. “Paris Belongs to Us” captures the bohemian life and nascent disaffection of the French youth that would explode a few years later with the riots of May 1968. Print courtesy of the British Film Institute.

RTVF, “Louder Than a Bomb,” 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, Block Cinema (Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, 2010, United States, Video, 99 minutes). “Louder Than a Bomb” tells the story of four Chicago-area high school poetry teams as they prepare to compete in the world’s largest youth slam. While the topics these teenagers tackle are often deeply personal, what they put into their poems -- and what they get out of them -- is universal: the defining work of finding one’s voice. Directors Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel plus special guests from the film will attend the screening, which is organized by the School of Communication’s department of radio/TV/film. Admission is free.

Paris in Film, “The 400 Blows” (“Les quatre cents coups”), 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19, Block Cinema (Francois Truffaut, 1959, France, 35 mm, 99 minutes). Truffaut’s semi-autobiographical film stars Jean-Pierre Leaud as Antoine Doinel, a troubled 12-year-old who finds no peace at home or at school. After stealing from his father and running away, he is turned over to the police and sent to a detention center for observation. Truffaut allows us to see the streets, schools and juvenile court system of Paris through a child’s eyes. Leaud brings naive intensity and raw emotion to his performance, creating an authentic-feeling and sympathetic portrait of childhood.

Paris in Film, “Chronicle of a Summer” (“Chronique d’une ete”), 7 p.m. Friday, April 20, Block Cinema (Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin, 1960, France, 35 mm, 85 minutes). Little known today outside of documentary circles, “Chronicle of a Summer,” by renowned ethnographic filmmaker Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin, was profoundly influential to a new generation of cinema verite documentary filmmakers (the Maysles brothers, D.A. Pennebaker) and to the young directors of the French New Wave. In “Chronicle,” the makers take to the streets of Paris to ask random passers-by their thoughts about their lives. Later, they view the footage with their subjects, opening up their technique to self-reflexive inquiry. Print courtesy of Tamasa Distribution, Paris. Restored by L’Immagine Ritrovata in collaboration with Argos Films. Film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum will be present for an introduction and post-screening discussion.

Paris in Film, “My Life to Live” (“Vivre sa vie”), 7 p.m. Thursday, April 26, Block Cinema (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962, France, 35 mm, 80 minutes). Godard’s third full feature stars his then-wife, Anna Karina, as Nana, who abandons her family to try to make it as an actress.

When Nana can’t find work, she resorts to prostitution. Godard combines the formal playfulness and cinematic and literary references seen in his first two features with a gritty documentary-like portrait of the seamier sides of Parisian life. Unlike the jazzy breeziness of “Breathless” that valorizes pop culture, here Godard questions it and the empty consumerism that led Nana astray.

Special Event, “Sunrise” with live musical accompaniment by Matti Bye, 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, Block Cinema (F.W. Murnau, 1927, United States, 24 mm, 94 minutes). One of the great masterpieces of silent cinema, F.W. Murnau’s “Sunrise” is a simple morality tale about a naive farmer (George O’Brien) led astray by a seductive woman (Margaret Livingston). Following a near tragedy, he attempts to win back his wife (Janet Gaynor) after they wind up in the city. Murnau’s first American film retains the Expressionist stylization he was known for in Germany, but tempers it with a romantic softness thanks to Charles Rosher and Karl Struss’ stunning cinematography. Acclaimed Stockholm-based musician Matti Bye, who has composed an original score, will accompany the film. Admission is free for Northwestern students.
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