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Northwestern University September/October 2012 Film Calendar

Fall Block Cinema season includes new and revived foreign and American films

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A selection of top new international films, recent documentaries about noteworthy art and artists and pertinent social issues, as well as revived and re-discovered archival films are all part of Block Cinema’s Fall 2012 programming schedule.

Screenings will take place in the James B. Pick and Rosalyn M. Laudati Auditorium at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.

A long-term construction project on Northwestern’s south campus has closed access to the Block Museum and parking. Free parking is available in the lot directly south of the museum. For directions and parking information, visit


“Passport to Global Cinema: Contemporary International Films” series (Oct. 5 and Nov. 30) will showcase some of the best new films from around the world. Part of the “Year of Global Languages” initiative at Northwestern, “Passport” emphasizes the need for global fluency in the 21st century.

• “Art on Screen” (Sept. 29 to Nov. 15), an ongoing series, includes new documentaries about the art world, including “Gerhard Richter Painting” and “The Photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher.” Also screening is “The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye,” a portrait of two artists who reinvent themselves in the most radical way, and “Portrait of Wally,” about an infamous court case involving Nazi-stolen art and some of the world’s most well known museums.

The “New Documentaries” series (Oct. 12 and Nov. 8) will feature two new films that focus on the experiences of girls from Nashville to Damascus, who are grappling with issues of gender, adoption, race and religion. “Somewhere Between” follows four teenage girls from across the U.S. who were adopted from China. ”The Light in Her Eyes” provides an unprecedented look inside a religious girls’ school that was filmed shortly before the current political turmoil in Syria.

• Revivals and Rediscoveries (Sept. 28 to Dec. 7) opens with a tribute to Amos Vogel, a famous film programmer and author, with one of his favorite films, “Before the Revolution.” The Bernardo Bertolucci-directed film is presented in an archival print imported from Rome. Also screening are two newly restored 1940s films from 20th Century Fox: Otto Preminger’s noir masterwork “Laura,” and Busby Berkeley’s legendary Technicolor musical, “The Gang’s All Here.” 

• Block will also present Audre Lorde’s Cultural Legacy (Oct. 3 to 4), a free two-day program hosted by Northwestern’s department of German, featuring film screenings, a book reading, discussions and an in-person appearance by Dagmar Schultz, a friend of Lorde and the director of the new documentary, “Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984-1992.”

“Madea’s Big Scholarly Roundtable: Perspectives on the Media of Tyler Perry” (Nov. 28), is a free panel discussion focusing on the world of African-American media mogul Tyler Perry. Panelists will include some of the most esteemed scholars of African-American, cultural, gender and performance studies from around the country.

Unless otherwise noted, general admission to Block Cinema 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


Revivals and Rediscoveries series, “Before the Revolution” (“Prima della rivoluzione”) 

7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, Block Cinema (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1964, Italy, 35 mm, 115 minutes). This key early film by Bernardo Bertolucci focuses on Fabrizio, a young bourgeois man struggling to reconcile his conservative upbringing with his Marxist beliefs, who begins a taboo relationship with his aunt. The film is a critical examination of Italian society and politics and their intersection with his characters’ sexual and personal relationships. Archival 35 mm print courtesy of Cinecitta Luce, Rome.

Art on Screen series, “Gerhard Richter Painting,” 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, Block Cinema (Corinna Belz, 2011, Germany, video, 97 minutes, FREE. An exploration of Richter’s creative spirit, this film provides a rare look at one of contemporary painting’s master artists. Notoriously publicity-shy, Richter allowed unusual access for this intimate portrait, taking place primarily in the artist’s studio as he works on several large abstract paintings. Richter discusses his work and his methods with candor and thoughtfulness.  


Audre Lorde’s Cultural Legacy program, “Invisible Woman: Growing up Black in Germany – Book Reading, 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, Block Museum, FREE. The child of an African-American soldier and a white German woman, author Ika Hugel-Marshall took inspiration from her friend and mentor Audre Lorde. Hugel-Marshall will present selections from her critically acclaimed autobiography in a bilingual (English and German) reading. A reception will follow.

Audre Lorde’s Cultural Legacy series, “Hope in My Heart: The May Ayim Story,” 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, Block Cinema (Marie Binder, 1997, Germany, video, 29 minutes),

FREE. This moving short documentary focuses on the life and untimely death of Ghanaian-German poet, academic and political personality May Ayim, who was a friend of Audre Lorde. It will be screened before the 6 p.m. film, “Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984-1992.”

MIDWEST PREMIERE: Audre Lorde’s Cultural Legacy series, “Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984-1992,” 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, Block Cinema, (Dagmar Schultz, 2012, Germany, video, 79 minutes) FREE. The public is invited to attend the Midwest premiere of the new documentary chronicling Lorde’s residency in Berlin, where she encouraged Afro-German writers and poets to give voice to their unusual experiences. Michelle Wright, associate professor of African American studies, Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, will introduce director Dagmar Schultz, who will attend the premiere.

Audre Lorde’s Cultural Legacy series, “A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde,” 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, Block Cinema (Ada Gay Griffin and Michele Parkerson, 1995, United States, video, 90 minutes). An epic portrait of Lorde from her childhood roots in Harlem to her battle with breast cancer, the film explores a life and a body of work that reflect the connections between the civil rights movement, the women’s movement and the struggle for lesbian and gay rights. It will be screened before the film “The Edge of Each Other’s Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde.”

Audre Lorde’s Cultural Legacy series, ”The Edge of Each Other’s Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde,” 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, Block Cinema (Jennifer Abod, 2002, United States, video, 59 minutes. This documentary is a tribute to Lorde, one of the most celebrated icons of feminism’s second wave. Nowhere was this more apparent than the groundbreaking “I am Your Sister” conference, which brought together more than 1,200 activists from 23 countries. The film, which includes footage of Lorde herself and candid interviews with conference organizers, will be shown after “A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde.”

Passport to Global Cinema series, ‘I Wish” (“Kiseki”), 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, Block Cinema (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2011, Japan, 35 mm, 128 minutes. In this disarming family drama by critically acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, two young brothers (played by real-life siblings) begin the slow, awkward process of growing up after they are separated following their parents’ divorce. 

Passport to Global Cinema series, “Elena,” 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, Block Cinema (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2011, Russia, 35 mm, 109 minutes). One of the most striking films to come out of Russia in recent years, “Elena” follows a middle-aged housewife whose world is rocked when an unexpected illness befalls her wealthy second husband and former employer. To provide for her adult children, she makes a desperate decision. Featuring powerful, restrained performances and a suspenseful score by composer Philip Glass, the film explores family loyalties and the class divide in modern Russia. It won the Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Art on Screen series, “The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, Block Cinema (Marie Losier, 2011, United States, video, 72 minutes. This playful experimental documentary chronicles an unlikely love story. Genesis P-Orridge was a founding member of the influential bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV as well as a provocative performance artist. “Ballad” documents the most extreme performative project P-Orridge undertook, the “Pandrogyne Project,” in which he and Lady Jaye underwent plastic surgery and other body transformations to look alike in the hope of becoming a single androgynous being. The film creates a portrait that is both tender and entertaining.

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