Unless you’re an RTVF major, spending all day watching and talking about films probably doesn’t happen. Sadly, it’s all too easy to forget how wonderful it is to lose the madness of midterms and meetings by escaping to the darkened confines of a movie theater. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case. For students looking to find repose from their busy lives, Block Cinema is just the ticket. For a mere $4, students have access to a wide range of intellectually engaging, wildly diverse movies and documentaries. Currently, Block has three new documentaries set to screen in the next month.
Before You Know It
What it’s about: Before You Know It is a heartwarming documentary that recounts the travails of three senior gay men looking for their place in the world. With an estimated 2.4 million LGBT adults over the age of 55 in America, this documentary is a humanizing account of a community still working to fight discrimination in a rapidly changing society.
Why you should see it: The intersection of gay rights and aging has rarely been tackled, making Before You Know It a highly illuminating and groundbreaking work. With public acceptance of gay rights becoming more likely daily, it’s a beautiful reminder to see those who had to hide their true identities for decades finally get the chance to embrace their real desires. Sure to be a tearjerker, but in the greatest way possible, Before You Know It is positive reaffirmation for gay rights supporters and an eye-opener to anyone still opposed.
When it’s screening: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2 p.m.
Let the Fire Burn
What it’s about: A black liberation group founded in 1972 that gradually radicalized, MOVE eventually drew the attention of the Philadelphia Police Department. In 1985, the police aimed to disrupt the organization’s headquarters, using gunfire and tear gas to remove its members. When this this didn’t work, police decided to drop bombs, causing a fire. The police’s next fateful decision, captured in this spellbinding documentary, lends itself to the film’s title: Let the Fire Burn. Capturing the aftermath of the destruction, which left several children dead, this documentary is a stirring reminder of the still important role that racial politics play in this country and the progress made since that time.
Why you should see it: Shedding light on a topic likely unknown to most students, Let the Fire Burn recounts a tale filled with moral complexities. The striking imagery of this staggering tragedy will surely be morally troubling, asking viewers to grapple with a troubling issue without jumping to easy conclusions.
When it’s screening: Thursday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m.
The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology
What it’s about: Famed cultural critic Slavoj Žižek explores cinema to understand what forms our ideology and why we adhere to it. Certainly the most philosophical documentary of the ongoing series, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology uses films such as Titanic and The Dark Knight Rises as a jumping off point to examine niches of culture as diverse as Coca-Cola and Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy.”
Why you should see it: Judging from the trailer, Žižek is eerily similar to that unsettling, slightly odorous uncle that yammers on and on over Thanksgiving dinner. However, unlike that uncle’s stale, uneventful ramblings, Žižek actually has fascinating insights into the world, making you want to buy him a beer and let him continue on for hours. Any curious, open-minded student should exit the theater with at least one brilliant, previously unrealized concept of their world, always an exciting proposition.
When it’s screening: Friday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m.