April 12 & April 14

OPENING NIGHTS: MARLENE DIETRICH

For our first screening of 2021, we are thrilled to welcome you back where we left off: the final program of our luminous Marlene Dietrich season. Prior to having to close in mid-March 2020, the first two weeks of this season saw record numbers attending the screenings and celebrating the work of one of cinema’s great icons.

Combining one of Dietrich’s most fascinating and imperious roles as a ‘survivor’ in post-war Berlin (A Foreign Affair) with her fascinating early performance in I Kiss Your Hand, Madame, this program exemplifies the Melbourne Cinémathèque’s mission to present celebrated and less well-known works of film history in both their original format and in new restorations.

Our opening night also ushers in our spotlight on the razor-sharp world of seminal writer-director Billy Wilder over the coming weeks. Beyond this, look out for more highlights from our 2020 calendar: seasons focused on actor Dirk Bogarde and Australian director Gillian Armstrong.

Monday April 12 & Wednesday April 14

7.00pm A FOREIGN AFFAIR
Billy Wilder (1948) 116 mins – PG

Wilder, Richard L. Breen and Charles Brackett’s wicked and pointed satire about a congressional investigation into GI morals portrays bombed-out Berlin as a supremely corrupt black marketeers’ paradise. Although it stars Jean Arthur as a fish-out-of-water congresswoman negotiating the moral and cultural quagmire of the emerging Cold War, Dietrich steals the film as a slippery, Mephisto-like chanteuse. A knowing reversal of the star’s renowned anti-fascism, it includes a wonderful score by Friedrich Hollaender who also features as Dietrich’s accompanist.

CTEQ ANNOTATION:
Rubble romance: A Foreign Affair by Jeremy Carr


9:10pm I KISS YOUR HAND, MADAME
Robert Land (1929) 66 mins – Unclassified 15 +

In one of her final “silent films”, Dietrich stars as a divorcee in Paris luxuriating in her freedom and a circle of adoring men. This divine comedy is marked by elegant set design and the exquisite appeal of Parisian high life, beautifully captured by cinematographers Carl Drews and Gotthardt Wolf. While mostly silent, this was the first German film to use synchronised sound technology, giving a platform to established lead Harry Liedtke and the titular song. However, it is Dietrich who emerges as the clear star, displaying early signs of her extraordinary performative sensuality.

35mm print courtesy of Deutsche Kinemathek.

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