Dedicated to screening rare & significant films in their original format.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run film society.

We hold screenings at The Australian Centre for the Moving image every Wednesday night for most of the year.

Admission is by membership, which can be obtained on a monthly or yearly basis.


December 13

Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub (1968) 94 mins
Unclassified 15+ (unless accompanied by an adult)

Straub and Huillet’s most accessible film is a highly complex formalist exercise that deconstructs the form of the fictional and documentary biopic. This does not distance us from the subject at hand or cast doubt on documentary truth, but invites a more direct engagement with Bach’s music. Strikingly framed biographical and period details are accompanied by unbroken passages from Bach, subverting the conventional relationship between score and image.

Print courtesy of the National Film & Sound Archive, Australia.

CTEQ Annotation
A Life Lived for Art: ‘The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach’ by Wheeler Winston Dixon.

Preceded by

The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp Jean-Marie Straub (1968) 23 mins. Unclassified 15+ (unless accompanied by an adult). A film in three parts, including an abbreviated play filmed at the Munich Action Theatre featuring Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Hanna Schygulla.

Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub (1972) 85 mins
Unclassified 15+ (unless accompanied by an adult)

This free adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s unfinished novel The Business Affairs of Mr Julius Caesar exemplifies Straub and Huillet’s attitudes to trans-European internationalism, featuring long, fixed shots from the seat of an Alfa Romeo driving through Rome alongside sequences of toga-clad German actors being “interviewed” about the rise of Caesar. Adopting Brecht’s sensibility – along with his text – in its distanced contrast between a decaying ancient Rome and a degenerating modern one, the film reminds us what happens to those who fail to learn from history.

CTEQ Annotation:
‘History Lessons’by Luke Aspell


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 and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Curated by the Melbourne Cinémathèque.

Curatorial Committee: Michael Koller, Michelle Carey, Adrian Danks and Eloise Ross with assistance from Cerise Howard.

Supported by Screen Australia and Film Victoria.


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