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.

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


Wednesday 24 August

Douglas Sirk (1953) 80 mins – PG

At the behest of her daughter – who has taken a lead role in the final-year high-school play – a fading vaudeville artist returns to visit the family she abandoned before pursuing her ultimately lacklustre stage career. Sirk brilliantly deploys stark black-and-white compositions and sweeping camera movements to precisely register a vivid small-town American milieu, compelling this simple family melodrama toward its heavy and moving climax. Featuring a characteristically sharp and bold lead performance by Barbara Stanwyck. 35mm print.

To be introduced by Tom Ryan, author of The Films of Douglas Sirk: Exquisite Ironies and Magnificent Obsessions (2019).

Douglas Sirk (1959) 125 mins – PG

One of the great films about maternal sacrifice and race, Sirk’s swansong is celebrated as a sumptuous Hollywood melodrama nonpareil, as well as a characteristically searing critique of US materialism. This second adaptation of Fannie Hurst’s 1933 novel was made under the charge of showy producer Ross Hunter and is feted for its lush aesthetic palette, magnificent costume design and powerhouse onscreen performance by Gospel legend Mahalia Jackson. A career high for Lana Turner and Juanita Moore, it also features Sandra Dee, Susan Kohner and John Gavin. 35mm print.

The Kids Are Not Alright: Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959) by Claire White


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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