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.
7:00PM WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS
Mikio Naruse (1960) 111 mins
Set in the unforgiving Ginza district, this elegantly understated melodrama showcases Naruse’s particular brand of humanism to great effect. With a style that feels both rigorous and light, Naruse walks us through a woman’s day-to-day struggles as she weighs up her choices between a man and a career. Naruse’s attentive eye reveals the hotbed of sexual politics of the gentlemen’s bar in which our protagonist works. These politics shift uneasily to keep up with a rapidly modernising Japan, poking holes in the glamorous facades of Tokyo nightlife. Starring Hideko Takamine and Tatsuya Nakadai.
Mikio Naruse (1951) 96 mins
Osaka housewife Michiyo harbours a quiet, unacknowledged disappointment in her marriage to the inattentive and petty-minded salaryman Okamoto. Frustration and latent bitterness finally lash out when her vivacious and attention-seeking niece moves in. It’s an unusual performance for classical Japanese cinema’s most iconic actress, Setsuko Hara, here playing a brooding and life-soiled role at odds with her normally luminous and sweet type. A superb, nuanced, psychological study, Repast initiated the critical and recurrent partnership of Naruse’s film work, in the first of his six adaptations of the fiction of Fumiko Hayashi.
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.