July 24

COMING TO AMERICA: ERNST LUBITSCH IN HOLLYWOOD

Ernst Lubitsch (1892–1947) is one of the most enduring and ultimately defining figures of the cinema of the first half of the 20th century.

Starting as an actor in Max Reinhardt’s Deutsches Theater, he quickly became a key figure of German cinema, moving dexterously between comedies of manners, exotic fantasias and epic historical romances and adventures. Renowned as a director of elegant and sophisticated sexual comedies, his wonderfully balanced and playful work is a marvel of intricate production design and expressive mise en scène. Leaving for the US in 1923, Lubitsch quickly established himself as a stylish director of bittersweet, almost continental comic romances and Ruritanian fantasies of a vanishing Europe. The overwhelming musical quality of his cinema allowed his silent work to be truly alive to the possibilities of sound and enabled his smooth, often breathtakingly inventive transition into the talkie era. A multi-talented artist, Lubitsch was also a successful and expressive comic actor in the 1910s and became Production Manager at Paramount Studios in the mid-1930s, an appointment that recognised his extraordinary influence and mercurial “touch”.

This program showcases the first film Lubitsch made in Hollywood, the recently restored and consistently delightful Rosita, produced and starring Mary Pickford for United Artists. It also includes a recent restoration of one of the director’s crowning achievements, the impossibly sophisticated and cheekily barbed social comedy, Trouble in Paradise.

July 24

6:30pm – TROUBLE IN PARADISE
Ernst Lubitsch (1932) 83 mins G

Lubitsch’s deftly ironic masterpiece is a gossamer-like satire about two sophisticated jewel thieves (Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins) who fall in love in Venice and find employment in the household staff of a wealthy widow (Kay Francis) in Paris in order to rob her. A classic work of light, incisive social comedy featuring sparkling dialogue, cheeky sexual innuendo, masterly use of objects and production design, and outstanding, sophisticated support performances from C. Aubrey Smith, Charlie Ruggles and Edward Everett Horton. Score reconstructed from the original by Gillian Anderson.

CTEQ ANNOTATION
Sexy Smart Women in Trouble in Paradise by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. 35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive


8:05pm – ROSITA
Ernst Lubitsch (1923) 95 mins Unclassified 15+*

After establishing a stellar career in Germany, Lubitsch ensured his successful transition across the Atlantic by working with industry powerhouse Mary Pickford as producer and star. Lubitsch’s light touch and Pickford’s irresistible spark are a perfect match in this sophisticated comedy that, while satirising the class system, follows a tender new romance and casts a sharp eye on a well-worn royal marriage. Unseen in its complete form for decades, this restored version showcases splendid cinematography by Charles Rosher, costumes by Mitchell Leisen and grand-scale sets by William Cameron Menzies.

Courtesy of The Museum or Modern Art, New York. Restored by The Museum of Modern Art and The Film Foundation with support from the Louis B. Mayer Foundation, RT Features and the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation.

CTEQ ANNOTATION
Sexy Smart Women in Rosita by Shari Kizirian.

Preceded by

The Mountaineer’s Honor
D. W. Griffith (1909) 11 mins.
One of Mary Pickford’s first starring roles.

The Lonely Villa
D. W. Griffith (1909) 11 mins.
Seminal early Griffith film featuring Mary Pickford.

Both 35mm prints courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


7 February
OPENING NIGHT 2024

7 February – 21 February
FROM THE BOULEVARDS OF PARIS TO THE DOCKS OF CHERBOURG: LANDMARKS OF THE FRENCH FILM MUSICAL

28 February – 13 March
"LIVING MAY BE TRAGIC, BUT LIFE ISN'T": THE FILMS OF THE TAVIANI BROTHERS

20 March – 3 April
IN THE AFTERGLOW: THE MERCURIAL STARDOM OF GLORIA GRAHAME

Wednesday 10 April
MAN OF THE CINEMA: A TRIBUTE TO JOHN FLAUS AT 90

17 April – 1 May
KEEP ROLLING: ANN HUI'S COUNTER-CINEMA

8 May – 22 May
"ALL ART IS ONE": THE VISIONARY CINEMA OF MICHAEL POWELL AND EMERIC PRESSBURGER

29 May – 12 June
WRITING WITH HER EYES: SUSO CECCHI D'AMICO, SCREENWRITER AS OBSERVER

19 June – 3 July
THE HOUSE THAT MOHSEN BUILT: THE FILMS OF SAMIRA MAKHMALBAF, MARZIEH MESHKINI AND MOHSEN MAKHMALBAF

10 July – 24 July
THE PAIN OF LIVING: JEAN EUSTACHE, BEING CINEMA

Wednesday 31 July
BETWEEN THE WAVE AND REVOLUTION: THE RETURN OF RIVETTE’S LEGENDARY L’AMOUR FOU

4–18 September
BLIND BEASTS, RED ANGELS AND HOODLUM SOLDIERS: THE IRRESISTIBLE CINEMA OF YASUZO MASUMURA

25 September – 9 October
JIŘÍ MENZEL: MAKING COMEDIES IS NO FUN

16–23 October
OF MEN AND MONSTERS: THE CINEMA OF NIKOS KOUNDOUROS

Wednesday 30 October
CONTESTED HISTORIES: THE DOCUMENTARIES OF JENI THORNLEY

6–20 November
THE FIRST AND LAST OF ENGLAND: THE QUEER LEGACIES OF DEREK JARMAN

Wednesday 27 November
PARADING THE PAST: RECENT ERNST LUBITSCH RESTORATIONS

4–11 December
THE SEEDS OF CHANGE: THE DOCUMENTARIES OF TOM ZUBRYCKI

Wednesday 18 December
CARLTON AND BEYOND: THE MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY FILM SOCIETY IN THE 1960s