Dedicated to screening rare & significant films in their original format.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run film society.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a membership-based film society based in Melbourne, Australia.

We hold screenings at The Australian Centre for the Moving image every Wednesday night for most of the year.

Admission is by membership, which can be obtained on a short-term or yearly basis.

All Melbourne Cinémathèque annual memberships valid when we closed in March 2020 are being extended by 13 months, matching the period we were closed. Mini passes with either one or two weeks remaining at the time of our 2020 closure will also be honoured.

We are a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation.

NEXT SCREENING

October 6

7:00pm MR. THANK YOU
Hiroshi Shimizu (1936) 75 mins – Unclassified 15+

The problems of Depression-era Japan are canvassed through a day in the life of a bus driver – nicknamed “Mr. Thank You” for his exceedingly polite manner – and the passengers he collects on an extended route from rural Izu to inner-city Tokyo. Adapted from Nobel Prize-winning novelist Yasunari Kawabata’s (A Page of Madness) story, this precursor to Italian neorealism was entirely shot on location and largely improvised. Featuring Michiko Kuwano and Ken Uehara as well as wonderful cinematography by Isamu Aoki.

35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.


8:25pm A HERO OF TOKYO
Hiroshi Shimizu (1935) 63 mins – Unclassified 15+

Shimizu’s final silent film is a deeply ironic and profoundly distilled treatise on the poor status of women in 1930s Japan. Abandoned by her corrupt second husband, Haruko (Mitsuko Yoshikawa) becomes a hostess in order to support her three children, a decision that has a profound impact on their subsequent lives. Shimizu’s subversive critique of Japanese militarism and ingrained attitudes to class, tradition and sexuality provides an incisive portrait of an increasingly conservative society.

35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.


9:40pm A WOMAN CRYING IN SPRING
Hiroshi Shimizu (1933) 96 mins – Unclassified 15 +

Shimizu’s first sound film is an emotionally powerful melodrama about the love between an itinerant woman and a miner who meet in a rugged, far-flung region of Japan. One of the director’s darkest and most revelatory works, the film evinces Shimizu’s affinity with those on society’s margins. Partly shot on location against the beautiful snowy landscapes of Hokkaido, it features an innovative use of audio: overheard voices provide a chorus to the romantic theme, while folk songs echo throughout, taking on a deeper significance with each repetition. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.

ABOUT

The Melbourne Cinémathèque started out as the Melbourne University Film Society (MUFS) in 1948 and changed its name to Cinémathèque in 1984.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque aims to present films in the medium they were created and as closely as possible to screen films the way they would have originally screened (i.e. big screen, celluloid prints, not video or DVD).

Programmes include a diverse selection of classic and contemporary films showcasing director retrospectives, special guest appearances and thematic series including archival material and new or restored prints.

We have on occasion hosted numerous seminars featuring renowned film scholars such as David Bordwell, Adrian Martin and Ian Christie. We are also dedicated to providing new annotations on the films we screen via the CTEQ annotations, hosted as a part of the quarterly online film journal Senses of Cinema.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered and membership-driven relying on support from individuals, foundations, corporations and government funding to maintain its high standard of excellence. If you would like to be involved, or to offer donations or sponsorship, please contact us.

Presented by The Melbourne Cinémathèque with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Curated by Michael Koller, Adrian Danks, Eloise Ross and Cerise Howard for the Melbourne Cinémathèque

Subtitling Logistics: Lorenzo Rosa

Music Synchronisation: Michael Koller

Supported by Film Victoria, RMIT University & The City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program.

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