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March Films at Northwestern

Block Cinema concludes winter film series with a special program and sneak preview

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Block Cinema’s winter 2015 film schedule concludes in early March with a special 3-D screening of Jack Arnold’s 1954 adventure-horror film “Creature from the Black Lagoon” and a sneak preview of Brent Huffman’s 2014 documentary “Saving Mes Aynak.”

Both Block Cinema films will be screened in the James B. Pick and Rosalyn M. Laudati Auditorium at the Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.

The documentary “Saving Mes Aynak” focuses on an archeological site in Afghanistan containing priceless Buddhist relics and the fight to save it from destruction. The film complements two of the Block Museum’s current exhibitions.

• “Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies,” which runs through April 19 in the Block’s Main Gallery, presents an original and innovative look at Buddhist art from the region of Kashmir and the Western Himalayas, as well as the ways it has been “collected” throughout history. It was conceived and curated by Northwestern University professor Robert Linrothe in collaboration with Christian Lucanzits, the David L. Snellgrove Senior Lecturer in Tibetan and Buddhist Art at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. The exhibition features metalwork, paintings, ivories and woodwork from Kashmir and the Western Himalayas from the 7th to 17th centuries.

• “Collecting Culture: Himalaya through the Lens,” which runs through April 12 in the Alsdorf Gallery, is a companion exhibit to the Block’s Main Gallery exhibition. It takes a critical look at U.S. and European engagement in the Himalayas, beginning in the mid-19th century. Through lenses, including photography, cartography, natural science and ethnography, it reflects on the ways Westerners have perceived, defined and acquired the Himalayas over time. It raises questions about what is gained and what is lost when one culture collects another.

Both exhibitions were organized by the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University; and the Rubin Museum of Art, New York. Additional funding and support was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; Myers Foundations; Alumnae of Northwestern; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly; and Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and department of art history.

Visit the Block website for a complete list of series descriptions and programs at:

Filmgoers who arrive early will have time to visit the Block Museum’s “Collecting Paradise” and “Collecting Culture” or the “Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity”

exhibit in the Katz Gallery, which runs through April 19. The latter exhibit explores the scope of Lautrec’s work in print media in the final decade of his life.


The Block Museum’s galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The Block is closed on Monday.

For more information, visit


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 60 and older. Quarterly passes are $20. Tickets are available one hour before show time and space is limited. For more information, call the Block Cinema Hotline at 847-491-4000 or visit the Block Cinema website at


• Special Programs series, “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (in 3-D) 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5 (Jack Arnold, 1954, United States, 35mm, 79 minutes), FREE. After discovering a large webbed claw, a group of scientists searching for a “missing link” between sea and land animals head deep into the Amazon to a place feared by natives, “the Black Lagoon.” “Creature” stands as genre film pioneer Jack Arnold’s most lasting creation from a career spanning decades. The film, which was made in the short but prolific 3-D boom between 1952 and 1954, does use some clichéd “pop-out” 3-D effects but also tactfully utilizes the technology to submerge the audience with a sense of dread in the film's underwater shots. The film will be introduced by film scholar Kristen Whissel, associate professor of rhetoric at the University of California at Berkeley.

• Sneak Preview, “Saving Mes Aynak,” 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, (Brent Huffman, 2014, United States, DCP, 60 minutes), FREE. “Saving Mes Aynak” follows Afghan archaeologist Qadir Temori as he races against time to save a 5,000-year-old archaeological site in Afghanistan from imminent demolition by a Chinese state-owned mining company, which is eager to harvest $100 billion dollars worth of copper buried directly beneath the archaeological ruins. Only 10 percent of Mes Aynak has been excavated, though, and some believe future discoveries at the site have the potential to redefine the history of Afghanistan and the history of Buddhism itself. Qadir Temori and his fellow Afghan archaeologists face what seems an impossible battle against the Chinese, the Taliban and local politics to save their cultural heritage from likely erasure. Sneak preview courtesy of Kartemquin Films. In person: Director Brent Huffman, assistant professor of journalism at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, will attend the screening. For more on the film and the people who made it, visit,-saving-mes-aynak-.html.

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