February 2

OPENING NIGHT

Melbourne Cinémathèque returns in 2022 with two Classical Hollywood romantic comedies directed by Mitchell Leisen from scripts written by Preston Sturges.

February 2

7pm EASY LIVING
Mitchell Leisen (1937) 88 mins – PG

One of the defining works of Hollywood romantic comedy, Leisen’s deftly calibrated and beautifully staged tale of a young working girl (the extraordinary Jean Arthur) who chances upon an expensive sable coat when it is flung from the high-rise apartment of a wealthy banker (Edward Arnold) was Preston Sturges’ first major script for Paramount. Ray Milland features as the millionaire’s son who ends up courting Arthur. Sturges’ screenplay highlights the themes of success and fast-paced modern life that would define his later work and gives space to a wonderful stock company of character actors who would go on to define his cinema (Franklin Pangborn, Robert Greig, William Demarest and so on).


8.45pm REMEMBER THE NIGHT
Mitchell Leisen (1940) 94 mins – Unclassified 15 +

Beautifully directed by Leisen from a brilliant screenplay by Preston Sturges – the last before starting his directorial career – this luminous film conveys the sentimental gleam of new-found love but goes well beyond the hide-bound conventions of romantic comedy. Leisen’s handling of the romance between prosecutor Fred MacMurray and the savvy shoplifter (Barbara Stanwyck) he falls for, caught stealing a diamond bracelet during the Christmas rush, is surprisingly complex and unexpectedly moving. A knowing follow up to the director and writer’s Easy Living, it also features Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson and Sterling Holloway.

February 2
OPENING NIGHT 2022

February 9 - February 23
REACHING BEYOND THE FRAME: THE POETIC CINEMA OF ABBAS KIAROSTAMI

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

Dates TBA
WILDFLOWERS: DANCING, DESIRE AND FREEDOM IN THE FILMS OF GILLIAN ARMSTRONG (Postponed)