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December 2009 Film Calendar

November 10, 2009 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- This December, Block Cinema is screening the final three films in its fall 2009 series Distilled into Something New: Film Noir from 1955 to 1970 and Robert Motherwell.

The series was developed to accompany the Northwestern University Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art's current Main Gallery exhibition titled "Robert Motherwell: An Attitude Toward Reality, From the Collection of the Walker Art Center" (through Dec. 6). The exhibition explores Motherwell's role in the evolution of the Abstract Expressionist movement of the same period.

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

General admission to Block Cinema screenings is $6 for the general public or $4 for Block Museum members, Northwestern faculty and staff, senior citizens aged 65 and older and students with valid IDs. Tickets are available 30 minutes before show time. For more information, call the Block Cinema Hotline at (847) 491-4000 or visit the Block Cinema Web site at www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/block-cinema.


Noir, "Underworld U.S.A.," 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2 (Sam Fuller, 1961, United States, 98 minutes, 35 mm). As a young boy, Tolly Devlin saw his father viciously murdered by gangsters. Years later, he discovers the identities of the killers. As he sets out for revenge, he dangerously plays the government and organized crime off each other. Based on a series of stories in The Saturday Evening Post, "Underworld U.S.A." is sensational and chilling.

Noir, "The Killers," 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3 (Don Siegel, 1964, United States, 95 minutes, 35 mm). "The Killers" is an interpretation of the Ernest Hemingway short story on which it is based. It also is film noir stripped to its barest, most violent elements. After John Cassavetes is gunned down by Lee Marvin and his partner, the hit men begin to wonder why their target didn't run and ask the central question of this film: are there things worse than death? Shot in color, which enhances director Don Siegel's razor sharp detail, "The Killers" costars Ronald Reagan in his last film.

Noir, "Le Cercle Rouge," 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4 (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970, France and Italy, 140 minutes, 35 mm). Alain Delon is director Jean-Pierre Melville's ideal anti-hero in this crime film set in Paris. Without emotion or extraneous movement, Delon expresses himself through patient waiting and bursts of balletic action, if ballet were about meting out death. Delon portrays Corey, a master thief, who with a drunken former policeman and an escaped convict, plots a heist against impossible odds. A relentless inspector pursues their trail and fate seals their destinies.

Block Cinema, a collaboration of the Northwestern University School of Communication and the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, screens classic and contemporary films. It is dedicated to providing the Northwestern campus, the North Shore and the Chicago area with a quality venue for repertory cinema.

(Nathalie Rayter, a junior in the School of Education and Social Policy, contributed to this story.)

Topics: Campus Life