November 23

THE THEATRE OF HISTORY: A TRIBUTE TO MANOEL DE OLIVEIRA

Until his death at the age of 106 in April last year, Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira (1908–2015) was considered to be the oldest active filmmaker in the world. Born not long after the invention of cinema itself, Oliveira was the only director whose career reached from the silent era to the digital age. He was also, unquestionably, a major figure of world cinema who was recognised by lifetime achievement awards from the Cannes and Venice film festivals as well as being awarded the French Legion of Honour. The Melbourne Cinémathèque takes this opportunity to pay tribute to a great director.


7:00PM – VISIT, OR MEMORIES
 AND CONFESSIONS

Manoel de Oliveira
 (1982/2015) 68 mins
Unclassified 15+ Unless accompanied by an adult

Oliveira’s cinematographic elegy is an exploration of spaces (including the director’s home in Porto), objects and loved ones encompassing the prodigious director’s life and filmmaking career. Made in 1982, with the instruction that it not be shown until after his death, Oliveira’s ruminative observations and fluid camerawork bring his distinctive world to life yet again in a deeply personal essay that drifts through physical spaces and orbits around intangible memories. Finally screened in 2015, it is now available with thanks to the Oliveira family.

35mm print courtesy of Cinemateca Portuguesa.


8:20PM – FRANCISCA

Manoel de Oliveira
 (1981) 166 mins
Unclassified 15+ Unless accompanied by an adult

Oliveira’s brilliant and expressly literary adaptation of Agustina Bessa-Luís’ 1979 novel is widely regarded as one of the director’s key works and the first of his long, fruitful collaboration with producer Paulo Branco. In many ways this tragic story of doomed love harks back to the elemental, shadowy world of silent cinema while paving the way for the extraordinarily productive final phase of the director’s career. Deploying a heightened mixture of self-conscious theatricality, historical detail and documentary fidelity, Oliveira’s opus is “one of the most complete expressions of the director’s eight decade career” (Michael J. Anderson).

35mm print courtesy of Cinemateca Portuguesa.

April 12 & April 14
OPENING NIGHTS: MARLENE DIETRICH

April 19 – May 5
THE BIG CARNIVAL: THE FILMS OF BILLY WILDER

May 10 – May 26
CAST A DARK SHADOW: THE BEAUTIFUL SADNESS OF DIRK BOGARDE

May 31 – June 16
WILDFLOWERS: DANCING, DESIRE AND FREEDOM IN THE FILMS OF GILLIAN ARMSTRONG