Movies, music, drinks & more: The Block’s new film series is a welcome way to beat cabin fever this winter

“I’m Not There,” starring Cate Blanchett and others, will be the first film screened as part of the “Movies and Music” series at The Block in downtown Muskegon.

Movie buffs, music lovers, and those who just want a reprieve from cabin fever this winter will have one more reason to head to downtown Muskegon: “Movies + Music,” a Wednesday night film series that debuts in January at The Block.

The series will explore the relationship between movies and music through three acclaimed films: “I’m Not There,” in which six actors depict the public persona of Bob Dylan from different perspectives; “Once,” a romantic musical drama about two struggling musicians in Dublin, Ireland; and “Searching for Sugar Man,” a documentary about Detroit folksinger Sixto Rodriguez.

Held at The Block, an intimate performance space in a restored 1890 building at 360 W. Western Ave., each of the three events will feature a panel of film scholars and music experts to introduce the films and lead follow-up discussions. The movies will be screened as following:

  • “I’m Not There” at 7pm on Wednesday, Jan. 9
  • “Once” at 7pm on Wednesday, Feb. 13
  • “Searching for Sugar Man” at 7pm on Wednesday, March 13

Throughout the conversation with the panelists, the audience will be encouraged to ask questions and participate in a 15-minute discussion immediately following the film.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with the panel line-up, each one perfectly suited to help explore the themes and share insight on these intriguing films,” said Kerri VanderHoff, a Block board member who conceived and helped develop the series. VanderHoff is an adjunct professor of film and video at Grand Valley State University and the executive director for the Coalition for Community Development in Muskegon Heights.

Panelists for “I’m Not There” include Foley Schuler, of Blue Lake Public Radio and the Muskegon Arts and Humanities Festival, and VanderHoff. “Once” panelists will be Michigan Irish Music Festival Cultural Director Andrew Zahrt and GVSU Professor Toni Perrine, who also serves as president of the Chiaroscuro International Film Series in Grand Rapids. For “Searching for Sugar Man,” panelists will include GVSU Professor John Schmit, a documentary filmmaker, an Black Circle Radio’s Mitch Anderson, the area’s expert on all things vinyl and historical in the music industry.

Films start at 7pm; the doors and bar open at 6:30pm. Arrive early to mingle, grab a drink, and settle in for the movie and conversation. The movies are intended for mature audiences; both “I’m Not There” and “Once” are rated R and “Searching for Sugar Man” is PG-13. General admission tickets are $8.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call 231-726-3231 or visit The Block’s website by clicking here.

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