May 18

BETWEEN PAST AND PRESENT: THE FILMS OF MARGOT NASH

Margot Nash is a Sydney-based filmmaker and academic. Emerging from the vibrant Melbourne theatre scene of the 1970s (when she was involved with the Melbourne Theatre Company and the Australian Performing Group at the Pram Factory) she has gone on to make a number of award-winning films.

Inflected by Nash’s lifelong feminism, the three films in this program provide an introduction, for those that need it, to one of Australia’s great, quietly radical cross-disciplinary filmmakers.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is extremely proud to present this film event, which will be introduced by the filmmaker herself.


7:00PM – THE SILENCES

Margot Nash
 (2015) 73 mins M
This profoundly moving and tough essay on the tangled bonds, secret histories and unspoken traumas of family life stretches from New Zealand to the Australian suburbs. Nash’s exploration of her childhood and the “silences” of family, mental illness and the past draws upon a wealth of photographs, letters, oral histories, documentary footage and clips from her previous work. An extraordinarily honest portrait of the complex and confusing ties of love, loss and kinship between a mother and daughter.

CTEQ ANNOTATION
Abandonment, Loss and Longing in Margot Nash’s The Silences by Felicity Ford.

Preceded by

Shadow Panic
Margot Nash (1989) 26 mins.
Three women, all strangers, travel through separate but interconnected worlds. Screening to be introduced by the filmmaker.

Both films courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive, Australia.


9:05PM – VACANT POSSESSION
Margot Nash
 (1995) 95 mins M

Like Nash’s recent, acclaimed essay film, The Silences, this is a work that explores the gaps caused by conflicting self-images, between the need to preserve the shell of a shared, traumatic past and the desire, through “progress”, to expunge it. Tessa (Pamela Rabe) feels the pull to return to her childhood house in the wake of her mother’s death. The messy idea of home, and everything unspoken and unresolved attached to it, is at the centre of a film that sits at an important crossroads in Nash’s career. The title “refers not only to the ‘vacant possession’ of the house but also to Australia itself” (David Stratton).

Screening to be introduced by the filmmaker. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive, Australia.

CTEQ ANNOTATION
Sensing the Past: Margot Nash’s Vacant Possession by Gabrielle O’Brien.

23 February
OPENING NIGHT 2022

2 March – 16 March
“THIS COCKEYED CARAVAN”: THE COMIC UNIVERSE OF PRESTON STURGES

23 March – 4 April
FEARLESS VULNERABILITY: THE FILMS OF JULIETTE BINOCHE

12 April – 27 April
WILDFLOWERS: DANCING, DESIRE AND FREEDOM IN THE FILMS OF GILLIAN ARMSTRONG

4 May – 18 May
MORE THAN NIGHT: THE FATAL VISION OF FRITZ LANG

25 May – 1 June
FACING MODERNITY: A TRIBUTE TO MONICA VITTI

8 June – 22 June
REACHING BEYOND THE FRAME: THE POETIC CINEMA OF ABBAS KIAROSTAMI

29 June – 13 July
HIROSHI SHIMIZU: FORGOTTEN MASTER

20 July – 3 August
MASTERPIECES OF UKRAINIAN CINEMA

24 August – 7 September
"LIFE’S PARADE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS": DOUGLAS SIRK

14 September – 28 September
OSCILLATING WILDLY: CÉLINE SCIAMMA’S INCLUSIVE CINEMA – FILMS TBA

5 October – 12 October
GALLOWS BACCHANALIAS, FRACTIOUS FAIRY-TALES AND THE RULE OF THREE: THE CINEMA OF JURAJ JAKUBISKO – FILMS TBA

19 October
AT HOME IN THE WORLD: CECIL HOLMES, ACTIVIST FILMMAKER – FILMS TBA

26 October – 2 November
QUEERING THE ARCHIVE: THE CINEMA OF BARBARA HAMMER– FILMS TBA

9 November – 23 November
THE BRINK OF LIFE: F. W. MURNAU, CINEMATIC VISIONARY – FILMS TBA

30 November
SHIFTING THE FOCUS: JOAN MICKLIN SILVER IN THE SEVENTIES – FILMS TBA

7 December – 21 December
GENRE NONCONFORMITY AND EAST SIDE STORIES: DECENTRING THE MUSICAL – FILMS TBA