The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run film society. We hold screenings at The Australia 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.


August 27

Jan Švankmajer (1958–2005) 92 mins

In the year of Švankmajer’s 80th birthday, and the 25th anniversary of the “Velvet Revolution”, we present this program of astonishing short films informed by themes of dialogue (always destructive with respect to his films’ antagonists, but highly productive between Švankmajer, his early mentor Emil Radok, and his son and fellow Surrealist, Václav) and resistance: Johanes Doktor Faust* (Radok, 1958), The Last Trick (1964), Dimensions of Dialogue (1982), The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope** (1983), The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia (1990) and Torchbearer (Václav Švankmajer, 2005).

35mm prints courtesy of ATHANOR except * courtesy of the National Film Archive in Prague and ** DCP of digital restoration.

8.45PM – FAUST
Jan Švankmajer (1994) 97 mins PG

Švankmajer’s second feature, a heady mixture of live action and multiple forms of animation, is much indebted to his puppeteering work on Johanes Doktor Faust (1958) and to prior treatments of the venerable Faust legend by Marlowe, Goethe, Grabbe and Gounod. But Švankmajer’s adaptation is very much a product of his own sensibility, featuring a gormless Prague Everyman (Petr Čepek) who may not have any real power to influence his fate, no matter what Mephistophelean pacts he makes. In a grimly ironic postscript, Čepek died very soon after production wrapped.

Digital restoration, with the original Czech soundtrack, courtesy of ATHANOR.



Melbourne Cinémathèque’s top picks for MIFF 2014

The Melbourne Cinémathèque team is taking a break for a few weeks because our equivalent of Christmas starts on the 1st of August this year. We resume screenings on the 27th of August so until then, you’ll be able to find us at The Melbourne International Film Festival. So, while we’re busy frantically planning our schedules, we thought we’d share our top picks! Check out our list over at our Facebook page.