MELBOURNE CINEMATHEQUE Announces 2023 Calendar


For the first time in three years, cinephiles can mark their diaries every week with the return of the full Cinémathèque annual calendar. In 2023, Melbourne Cinémathèque presents a feast of retrospective and contemporary films, showcasing seasons on the greatest filmmakers of all time, iconic performers, and contemporary artists, with titles uncovered from national and international archives.
Screening from February to December, Cinémathèque members will enjoy 42 nights of double features across 18 seasons of specially curated cinema including films screened on 35mm and 16mm prints. The program opens on February 8 and runs every Wednesday at ACMI.
The 2023 program opens with Federico Fellini’s Amarcord (1973) followed by Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup (1966); two films written by the Italian screenwriter Tonino Guerra, who collaborated with many of the era’s most influential auteurs. The Opening Night is followed by a season of Guerra’s films, including works made with Andrei Tarkovsky, Francesco Rosi and Theo Angelopoulos.
The exploration of iconic European cinema continues with a dedicated Robert Bresson season. Including his masterpieces Pickpocket (1959) and Au hasard Balthazar (1966), the season immerses audiences in Bresson’s singular “transcendental style” and unique working methods.
The 2023 program draws special attention to cinema of the Asian-Pacific region in three separate seasons featuring groundbreaking innovators and contemporary artists. A season on recognisable Hong Kong actor, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, features his works with Wong Kar Wai, Ang Lee, and Zhang Yimou, and a season on Taiwanese New Wave director, Tsai Ming-Liang honours a true cinematic artist whose films have rarely been available to Australian audiences. The Kinuyo Tanaka season celebrates the extraordinary and ground-breaking directorial career of an artist who stepped away from her iconic on-screen career to become the second woman ever to establish herself a director in the Japanese film industry.
After many biographies and stories focussing on her life, a season on Marilyn Monroe invites audiences to see the actress as a witty, intelligent and receptive performer who elevated her roles beyond their simplicity. The program chronicles her work with major directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age, including Howard Hawks and Fritz Lang, as well as her soulful, final completed film written by her then-husband Arthur Miller, and directed by John Huston:The Misfits (1961).
The Cinémathèque’s tribute to one of America’s most notable post-60s auteurs – the recently departed Peter Bogdanovich – offers discoveries for both newcomers and seasoned fans of the director’s work. Amongst his acknowledged classics The Last Picture Show (1971) and What’s Up, Doc? (1972), the season features overlooked later works, including the Australian premiere of Squirrels to the Nuts (2014/2022); Bogdanovich’s preferred version of his final fiction film, previously released in a compromised form as She’s Funny That Way.
For the first time since the pandemic, the Cinémathèque will host special filmmaker introductions. In May, Greek-Australian filmmaker Bill Mousoulis will present a program of his films, ranging from his early Melbourne-shot work on Super 8 to his fascinating, politically committed films made during his sojourn in Greece. Then in November, the Cinémathèque will host American artist Robert Beavers as he exhibits the visionary experimental films made with his life-long creative and personal partner Gregory J. Markopoulos – in their original 16mm format.
A season on Mereta Mita uncovers the works of a First Nations artist that has been increasingly difficult to see in cinemas, prior to this series of recent restorations. A key campaigner for Māori creative control in the film industry, Mita was also the first woman to direct and write a fiction feature in Aotearoa New Zealand: her 1988 film Mauri.
The Cinémathèque also takes a special look at Australia’s female cinema pioneers, with a one-night program focusing on silent film actress and screenwriter Lottie Lyell, as well as a program of works by Australian migrants Ayten Kuyululu and Sophia Turkiewicz, screening films about their unique cultural experiences.
The 2023 program concludes with a season of “Eastern Westerns”. These western genre films from the Eastern Bloc made both before and after the fall of Iron Curtain, explore the way the American West could be subjected to revisionist ideological agendas on-screen, as well as how the genre remains vital in post-socialist Eastern Europe today.
Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque and ACMI. Curated by the Melbourne Cinémathèque. Supported by VicScreen.