Dedicated to screening rare & significant films in their original format.
The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run film society.
The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a membership-based film society based in Melbourne, Australia.
We hold screenings at The Australian Centre for the Moving image every Wednesday night for most of the year.
This year many of our screenings are on Monday nights. Please check the program for details.
Admission is by membership, which can be obtained on a short-term or yearly basis.
We are a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation.
We know this can’t replace the joy of being in the cinema but why not join us for a weekly movie night at home?
Our Virtual Cinémathèque won’t replicate seasons slated for the 2020 Melbourne Cinémathèque but wherever possible we’ll try to stick to the weekly calendar format of double bills that showcase classic and contemporary films on specific directors, performers or a thematic.
Stay updated at the ACMI website
Virtual Cinematheque has been made possible with the generous support of:
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Monash University Museum of Art
The Goethe Institute of Australia
Stellar Dental, Collins St
Present Company Included
Today the Victorian government declared a state of emergency effective from 12:00pm, which will be enforced for at least the next 4 weeks. Under the conditions of this state of emergency, The Melbourne Cinémathèque will not be holding any screenings until further notice. In line with this, and with our venue The Capitol, RMIT University, and our presenting partner ACMI, we will be postponing all screenings throughout March and April.
Things are evolving on a daily basis and we will try to keep everyone informed about our screenings. We value our members and the community gathered around the Cinémathèque very highly – we are, after, all elected representatives of the membership – and thank you for your tremendous support so far this year. We very much look forward to the time when we will be able to return to sharing great cinema with you – once it is safe to do so. But for now, we need to help protect the health and safety of our volunteers, the staff at the venue, ourselves and, of course, all our members.
Once we become aware of a recommencement date we will arrange suitable arrangements for existing mini, year and friends Cinémathèque memberships (we will be exploring various options including extending memberships, asking members to donate the proportion of the membership elapsed to support the Cinémathèque’s, etc.). As a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organisation we rely on the support, goodwill and active involvement of our membership.
To ensure that people are informed of developments, updates will be posted onto our Facebook page and our website, as well as through this newsletter and via Twitter. Should you have any queries, please stay in touch with us.
Keep safe and all the best,
The Melbourne Cinémathèque committee.
7:00pm THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES
Abbas Kiarostami (1994) 103 mins – Unclassified 15 +
From the moment it opens with the “director” auditioning young women for the film we are about to see, Kiarostami’s breakthrough third entry in the “Koker trilogy” establishes a magically porous border between documentary and fiction, real life and cinema. Focusing on the filming of a few scenes from And Life Goes On, and gently observing the impact of a deadly earthquake on the local community, it foregrounds the profoundly contemplative sensibility of the director’s best work. Its sublime concluding long take is one of the defining moments in Kiarostami’s cinema.
8:55pm THE EXPERIENCE
Abbas Kiarostami (1973) 60 mins – Unclassified 15 +
Kiarostami’s first long-from work is a delicate tale of young love in Iran, chronicled against a backdrop of class divisions prior to the Islamic Revolution. Largely composed of vignettes of silence, this is a minimalist life portrait filtered through documentary-style location photography of Tehran. Within its simple narrative, Kiarostami explores his experimental approach to film structure, appearing here in its most essential form. It is, according to Richard Brody, “the most intricate of his short features”.
10:05pm FELLOW CITIZEN
Abbas Kiarostami (1983) 53 mins – Unclassified 15 +
Kiarostami’s first long-form work to be produced after the Islamic Revolution is a characteristically intense documentary portrait of a traffic cop attempting to restrict access to drivers in the centre of Tehran. Using a telephoto lens, and depicting the notoriously hectic rhythm of life in Tehran as well as the protagonist’s combative exchanges with motorists, this ambivalent depiction of a figure plucked from the city’s ebb-and-flow draws upon Kiarostami’s youthful employment as a traffic cop.
The Melbourne Cinémathèque started out as the Melbourne University Film Society (MUFS) in 1948 and changed its name to Cinémathèque in 1984.
The Melbourne Cinémathèque aims to present films in the medium they were created and as closely as possible to screen films the way they would have originally screened (i.e. big screen, celluloid prints, not video or DVD).
Programmes include a diverse selection of classic and contemporary films showcasing director retrospectives, special guest appearances and thematic series including archival material and new or restored prints.
We have on occasion hosted numerous seminars featuring renowned film scholars such as David Bordwell, Adrian Martin and Ian Christie. We are also dedicated to providing new annotations on the films we screen via the CTEQ annotations, hosted as a part of the quarterly online film journal Senses of Cinema.
The Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered and membership-driven relying on support from individuals, foundations, corporations and government funding to maintain its high standard of excellence. If you would like to be involved, or to offer donations or sponsorship, please contact us.
Presented by The Melbourne Cinémathèque with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
Curated by Michael Koller, Adrian Danks, Eloise Ross and Cerise Howard for the Melbourne Cinémathèque
Subtitling Logistics: Lorenzo Rosa
Music Synchronisation: Michael Koller
Supported by Film Victoria, RMIT University & The City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program.