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.
Raoul Walsh (1915) 72 mins
Unclassified 15+ (unless accompanied by an adult)
Considered a lost film until its rediscovery in the 1970s, Walsh’s first feature is also regarded as one of the key works in the early development of the gangster genre. An orphaned child grows up to become a hard drinking and gambling low-life and gang leader but is tempted to reform after falling in love. Filmed on location in New York City and revelling in the Irish-American milieu that was his métier, Walsh sourced actual gangsters, sex workers and homeless people to feature as extras. Adapted from the book My Mamie Rose by Owen Frawley Kildare. With Anna Q. Nilsson.
‘Regeneration’: Raoul Walsh Begins by Shari Kizirian.
8:25pm THE THIEF OF BAGDAD
Raoul Walsh (1924) 155 mins
Unclassified 15+ (with no age restriction)
One of Douglas Fairbanks’ most ambitious movies, and his own favourite, shows off the star’s supreme athleticism as a swashbuckling Aladdin-like hero leaping through extravagant sets inspired by Orientalism and modern interior design. A fantasy-romance tale taken from The Arabian Nights, Walsh’s wondrously inventive film created unprecedented movie magic with breakthrough special effects including a flying carpet, magic rope and winged horse. The epic scale of the sets (taking up 6.5 acres in the studio and art directed by William Cameron Menzies) and lavish costumes (designed by Mitchell Leisen) made it the most expensive film production of its time.
‘The Thief of Bagdad’ by Darragh O’Donoghue.
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.