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.
6:30pm – WINGS
Larisa Shepitko (1966) 85 mins Unclassified 15+*
Shepitko’s intriguing second feature is an assured, engrossing and starkly composed character study of a famous middle-aged former female fighter pilot (Maya Bulgakova) struggling to adjust to civilian life as a school principal while taking refuge in wartime memories. Exploring the generational conflict between those who fought for Stalin in World War II and those who came after, this subtle humanist work announced the emergence of Shepitko as one of the most original voices of ’60s Soviet cinema.
35mm print courtesy of Gosfilmofond.
8:05pm – BEGINNING OF AN UNKNOWN ERA
Larisa Shepitko and Andrei Smirnov (1967) 73 mins. Unclassified 15+*
Made for the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution, this two-part omnibus film (four episodes were originally commissioned) was deemed “insufficiently optimistic” by Brezhnev’s censors and was suppressed until 1987. Shepitko’s Dovzhenko-esque contribution, The Homeland of Electricity, paints a grim picture of impoverished rural life in the Volga region circa 1921, while Smirnov’s brutal Angel concerns a train full of refugees captured by counter-revolutionary bandits.
35mm print courtesy of the British Film Institute.
Elem Klimov (1980) 25 mins. Unclassified 15+*
This moving elegy from Shepitko’s grief-stricken husband includes behind-the-scenes footage from her films, photos and words from Shepitko herself.
35mm print courtesy of the British Film Institute Archive.
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 the Melbourne Cinémathèque.
Curatorial Committee: Michael Koller, Adrian Danks, Eloise Ross and Cerise Howard, with Associate Curator Michelle Carey
Supported by Film Victoria, RMIT University & The City of Melbourne