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.

Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation and The Film Foundation.

CTEQ ANNOTATION:
Nuanced Complexity: The Marriage Circle and the Early Days of the ‘Lubitsch Touch’ by Isabella McNeill


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.

CTEQ ANNOTATION:
A Woman of Paris by James L. Neibaur


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.

CTEQ ANNOTATION:
Die Austernprinzessin by Michael Ewins

February 7–21
JEANNE MOREAU: THE FACE OF THE NOUVELLE VAGUE

February 28 – March 14
“I AM HERE AND I DON’T KNOW WHY”: THE FREE-FORM FILMMAKING OF JOHN CASSAVETES

March 21 – April 2
TWISTED NERVE: BRITISH PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR OF THE 1960s AND 1970s

April 9 – April 25
FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT, CHILD OF THE CINEMA

May 2
GIRLS IN UNIFORM: LANDMARKS OF LESBIAN CINEMA

May 9
COLONIAL LEGACIES – THE VIEW FROM THERE. A COLLABORATION WITH THE HUMAN RIGHTS ARTS & FILM FESTIVAL.

May 16 – May 23
WITHOUT COMPROMISE: THOM ANDERSEN’S AMERICA

May 30 – June 13
PLAYING SOLO: THE SADLY BEAUTIFUL CAREER OF MONTGOMERY CLIFT

June 20 – July 4
THE STORY OF WOMEN: THE EXTRAORDINARY CAREER OF KINUYO TANAKA

July 11 – July 25
THE NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES: GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM AFTER CALIGARI

August 22 – September 5
BEYOND LEONE: THE RADICAL LAWLESSNESS OF THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN

September 12 – September 26
ORIGINAL SINS: RESISTANCE AND FEMINISM IN THE AVANT-GARDE CINEMA OF VĚRA CHYTILOVÁ

October 3
CONTESTING HISTORY: BICENTENNIAL LEGACIES

October 10 – October 31
ON DANGEROUS GROUND: IDA LUPINO, TRAILBLAZER

November 7 – November 21
ECHOES FROM TAIWAN: THE MAJOR WORKS OF EDWARD YANG

November 28 – December 5
ON BODY AND SOUL: THE PASSION ACCORDING TO AMIEL COURTIN-WILSON

December 12 – December 19
ANARCHY AND ECSTASY: THE INTERMEDIATE CINEMA OF DUŠAN MAKAVEJEV