July 26

LUBITSCH: THE CHAPLIN TOUCH

What did Hollywood’s pre-eminent observer of social mores learn from the master of pathos-drenched slapstick? This program explores the little-known connections between the work of Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977) and Ernst Lubitsch (1892–1947). The two directors were friends and, before its release, Chaplin showed Lubitsch a rough cut of A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate, an atypical Chaplin film in that it is neither a comedy (its subtitle should be regarded in earnest) nor features its director onscreen (other than in a very brief cameo). Working on his breakthrough American film The Marriage Circle around the same time, Lubitsch praised Chaplin’s film’s intelligence and sophistication, seeing it as a “great step forward.” Our program concludes with The Oyster Princess, a wildly inventive demonstration that “the Lubitsch Touch” could also encompass broad slapstick.

July 26

7:00pm THE MARRIAGE CIRCLE
Ernst Lubitsch (1924) 85 mins
Unclassified 15+ (unless accompanied by an adult)

Lubitsch’s breakthrough American film established the sophisticated style and sensibility that marked his greatest work in Hollywood. This highly influential comedy of manners, itself inspired by Chaplin’s A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate and remade as One Hour With You, fixates on the flirtations, indiscretions and infidelities of a “circle” of well-heeled married couples in licentious Vienna. Lubitsch’s elegant roundelay features knowing performances by a wonderful array of silent-era talent including Florence Vidor, Monte Blue, Marie Prevost and the impossibly suave, Adolphe Menjou.

New restoration courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.


8:35pm A WOMAN OF PARIS: A DRAMA OF FATE
Charles Chaplin (1923) 78 mins PG

A commercial failure on its initial release, Chaplin’s bold and subtle romantic drama is now widely regarded as one of the key works of his long career. This sophisticated, groundbreakingly complex drama of manners involves a French girl (Chaplin favourite Edna Purviance) who, due to a misunderstanding, fails to marry her sweetheart and ends up in Paris as the mistress of a perennial sophisticate (Adolphe Menjou). One of only two features Chaplin directed and didn’t star in, it was a key influence on Lubitsch’s American career.

35mm print courtesy of the National Film & Sound Archive, Australia.


10:00pm THE OYSTER PRINCESS
Ernst Lubitsch (1919) 48 mins
Unclassified 15+ (unless accompanied by an adult)

This exuberant, extravagant romp represents the director’s famous “touch” in its earliest embryonic incarnation. In true screwball style, the film is laden with mistaken identities, romantic rivalries and good-natured digs at the rich, both ancien and nouveau. Over-the-top set pieces involving crazed foxtrots and multitudes of servants prefigure The Love Parade a decade later. Features a winning performance by popular star Ossi Oswalda, a key actor in Lubitsch’s early work, widely known as “the German Mary Pickford.”

35mm print courtesy of the National Film & Sound Archive, Australia.

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