May 3

BOLD ASPIRATIONS: HAROLD LLOYD AND 1920s AMERICA

With his characters quickly evolving beyond initial comparisons to the tragicomic work of Charlie Chaplin and the deceptively athletic and soulful Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd (1893–1971) was a genius of physical comedy whose bespectacled go-getters perfectly embody 1920s America’s bold aspirations. A powerful example of an independent artist, Lloyd formed his own production company in 1924, and his formal and technical innovations (such as the trick perspective used for the iconic clock scene from Safety Last!) would go on to inspire many others in the industry. Here is a joyful tribute presenting three of the 12 features he made in the 1920s including two of his most indelible efforts, Safety Last! and The Freshman and the widely underrated Why Worry? ,

May 3

7:00pm SAFETY LAST!
Fred Newmeyer & Sam Taylor (1923) 67 mins
Unclassified (with no age restrictions)

A classic of American social comedy, Lloyd’s most famous work appears today as a singularly lucid encapsulation of the hopes and depredations of early modernism. Trading off his image as the quintessential American “working man,” Lloyd’s bespectacled, go-getter persona substitutes the inspired models of Keaton and Chaplin for a harsher, more existentialist approach to physical comedy. Radically and profoundly de-centring Lloyd’s presence, the film emphasises the ways modern city life enforces social mobility through its control of space – a sobering, very 21st century notion.

CTEQ Annotation:
Safety Last! by James L. Neibaur.

Trailer:


8:20pm WHY WORRY?
Fred Newmeyer & Sam Taylor (1923) 63 mins
Unclassified (with no age restrictions)

In this under-appreciated classic, Lloyd steps out of his famous “speedy” go-getter character and into the role of a wealthy hypochondriac travelling to the tropical “El Paradiso” to relax, yet finding himself in the midst of a revolution. Lloyd’s meticulously designed gag sequences and sly lampooning of American life still dominate even when faced with a foreign “exotic” culture. Containing early examples of the surreal madcap humour subsequently popularised by the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup, it also provided the blueprint for Woody Allen’s Bananas many decades later.

CTEQ Annotation:
Why Worry? by Brad Weismann.


9:35pm THE FRESHMAN
Fred Newmeyer & Sam Taylor (1925) 76 mins
Unclassified (with no age restrictions)

Lloyd’s dopey freshman is determined to be popular in this classic tale of an awkward misfit who falls in love with his landlady’s daughter. Amidst a slew of classic college archetypes and situations, this simple narrative enables Lloyd’s inventive physical comedy to be strengthened by a genuinely sympathetic persona. Lloyd’s biggest box-office hit was also a peak in his artistic career. It also illustrates his influence on the rest of Hollywood, where the number of films using this setting – including Buster Keaton’s College in 1927 – increased exponentially in the following years.

CTEQ Annotation:
The Freshman by Fred Newmeyer & Sam Taylor.

Trailer:

February 8 - February 22
MARCELLO MASTROIANNI: 20TH-CENTURY MAN

March 1 - March 15
PLAYING WITH CONTRADICTION: THE INDOMITABLE ISABELLE HUPPERT

March 22 - March 29
WORKING WOMEN, SHOWGIRLS AND TRANGRESSIVE DESIRES: THE FILMS OF DOROTHY ARZNER

April 5
BROKEN TRAIL: WALTER HILL IN THE 1970s

April 12 - April 26
“I’LL SHOW YOU THE LIFE OF THE MIND”: THE INTOXICATED CINEMA OF JOEL AND ETHAN COEN

May 3
BOLD ASPIRATIONS: HAROLD LLOYD AND 1920s AMERICA

May 10
WATER RITES: A COLLABORATION WITH THE HUMAN RIGHTS ARTS & FILM FESTIVAL

May 17
FILMS FROM THE CO-OPS PART 2: MELBOURNE

May 24-June 7
“BUILD MY GALLOWS HIGH”: ROBERT MITCHUM, HOLLYWOOD’S HARDBOILED SOUL

June 14 - June 28
DOUBLE AGENT: THE PERIOD FILMS OF ERIC ROHMER

July 5 - July 19
DREAMS OF EVERYDAY LIFE: THE QUIXOTIC CINEMA OF HIROKAZU KOREEDA

July 26
LUBITSCH: THE CHAPLIN TOUCH

August 23 - September 6
SHOCK TROOPS: THE FILMS OF PAUL VERHOEVEN

September 13 - 20
DELIRIUM AND DECADENCE: THE GIDDYING GOTHIC CINEMA OF JURAJ HERZ

September 27 - October 11
UNRULY WOMEN AND UNDISCIPLINED DESIRES: THE SUBLIMELY DECENTRED VISIONS OF JANE CAMPION

October 18 - November 1
STORIES FROM THE OUTSKIRTS OF BUCHAREST: THE DARK REALISM OF CRISTI PUIU

November 8 - November 22
RAOUL WALSH, THE GREAT TRAFFIC COP OF THE MOVIES

November 29
AND JUSTICE FOR ALL: THE COLLABORATIONS OF DARYL DELLORA AND SUE MASLIN

December 6 - December 13
OF THE WORLD AND ITS THINGS: THE MATERIALIST CINEMA OF DANIELE HUILLET AND JEAN-MARIE STRAUB