The Melbourne Cinémathèque reveals its program for the second half of 2022, opening with Douglas Sirk and closing with musicals. The program screens at ACMI from 24 August – 21 December, showcasing a breadth of films from early German expressionism to contemporary Cannes winners, including provocative European masterpieces and films exploring gender, sexuality, activism, and non-conformity. Films screen in 35mm prints, 16mm prints, and new restorations.
The full program features eight curated seasons including the films of Douglas Sirk, Celine Sciamma, Juraj Jakubisko, Cecil Holmes, Barbara Hammer, F. W. Murnau and Joan Micklin Silver. To close the 2022 program, the Cinémathèque presents a surprising selection of genre-bending “alternative” musicals to entertain, dazzle and challenge audiences.
The Cinémathèque 2022 program will re-commence after the Melbourne International Film Festival with “Life’s Parade at Your Fingertips”: Douglas Sirk”. Best known as the director of a string of lavish Hollywood melodramas in the 1950s, this season explores the stages in Sirk’s screen career – from his exploration of a wide variety of genres and modes of production to the extraordinary group of films upon which his contemporary reputation rests (including All That Heaven Allows, A Time to Love and A Time to Die and Imitation of Life).
Oscillating Wildly: Céline Sciamma’s Inclusive Cinema, explores Sciamma’s remarkably candid and nuanced work through her careful portrayal of LGBTQI+ identity. The program features Sciamma’s best works (as both director and writer) with popular titles Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Tomboy, Petite Maman and Paris 13th District for fans and neophytes of this noteworthy contemporary French director.
Gallows Bacchanalias, Fractious Fairy Tales and the Rule of Three: The Cinema of Juraj Jakubisko season, co-presented with the Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia, features the notoriously flamboyant and provocative films of Juraj Jakubisko. The season focuses on the director’s feature-length works from the 1960s to the close of the 1980s (Birds, Orphans and Fools, Sitting on a Branch, Enjoying Myself, and The Prime of Life), also including the sumptuous fairy-tale Perinbaba, emphasising Jakubisko’s great love and affinity with Federico Fellini.
At Home in the World: Cecil Holmes, Activist Filmmaker features the films of Cecil Holmes; one of the most significant and ambitious filmmakers to work in Australia during the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. The season features two films and numerous shorts in a one-night-only special presentation, including titles Three in One and Captain Thunderbolt. The screening is introduced by David Donaldson, inaugural director of the Sydney Film Festival.
Queering the Archive: The Cinema of Barbara Hammer is a beautiful tribute to the films of the late feminist artist Barbara Hammer, including a range of Hammer’s eclectic shorts and features from across her career. The presented films deal with diverse subject matters including the lesbian experience (Dyketactics, Superdyke, Women I Love), lesbian histories (Nitrate Kisses, The Female Closet, History Lessons, Audience), concepts of time and space (Bent Time, Maya Deren’s Sink), endangered species and artistic forms (Endangered), and ageing and death (A Horse is Not a Metaphor).
The Brink of Life: F. W. Murnau, Cinematic Visionary presents key works of Murnau’s brief but extraordinary career, moving from his exploration and expansion of the forms of expressionism, the horror film and the Lubitschean Ruritanian comedy (Nosferatu and The Grand Duke’s Finances) to the full flowering of his talent in Hollywood and beyond (Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans and Tabu: A Story of the South Seas).
Honouring a true cinema pioneer, Shifting the Focus: Joan Micklin Silver in the Seventies studies the early films of director Joan Micklin Silver, who penetrated steep barriers that stood in the way for female filmmakers in the era.
Genre Nonconformity and East Side Stories: Decentring the Musical will close the 2022 program with a finale of eccentric movie musicals from an array of diverse backgrounds. The season will spotlight musicals to have emerged at a remove from those Western industries commonly associated with the genre and will be sure to entertain, dazzle and challenge.
The Melbourne Cinémathèque screens in collaboration with our presenting partner ACMI and is supported by VicScreen.