May 10

WATER RITES: A COLLABORATION WITH THE HUMAN RIGHTS ARTS & FILM FESTIVAL

“Artists and creatives have always been at the vanguard of social change – we rely on them to hold a mirror to the uneasy truths of our times and reflect our stories,” the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival’s mission statement reads. The same reasoning and commitment could be said to underlie the Melbourne Cinémathèque’s undertaking to screen significant and provocative works from the complete history of world cinema; from the earliest silent films to recent digital experimentations, cinema is a bellwether of our connection to and direction in the world.

In a continuation of an important partnership formed in 2014, this screening profiles cinema as a truly global art form. It features two films restored by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project which is “dedicated to preserving and restoring neglected films from around the world.” The screening begins with Emilio Gómez Muriel and Fred Zinnemann’s truly committed and proto-neo-realist docu-drama of fishermen trying to survive and make a living on the Gulf of Mexico. Beautifully shot by photographer Paul Strand it was the first complete film directed by Zinnemann, an Austrian-born filmmaker who would go on to a stellar career as a socially and politically progressive director in Hollywood (The Seventh Cross, High Noon, Julia). The program concludes with the beautiful and heartbreaking A River Called Titas, an epic social drama of the everyday lives of people living on the River Titas directed by one of the towering figures of Bengali cinema, Ritwik Ghatak.

Presented in conjunction with:

The Human Rights Arts & Film Festival.

The Film Foundation.

World Cinema Project.

May 10

7:00pm REDES
Emilio Gómez Muriel and Fred Zinnemann (1936) 65 mins
Unclassified 15 + (unless accompanied by an adult)

This pearl of dramatic concision is one of the great works of galvanising agitprop filmmaking. A swift-paced narrative of the political awakening of a group of poor and disenfranchised Mexican fisherman, the film is the collaborative fruit of Gómez Muriel and Zinnemann (The Sundowners, From Here to Eternity), the great photographer Paul Strand and composer Silvestre Revueltas (Aaron Copland favourably compared his score to Shostakovich’s cinema work). With a non-professional cast, it represents a crucial precursor to neo-realism.

CTEQ Annotation:
Modernist Realism: Redes by Parichay Patra.

Restored in 2010 by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory. In association with Filmoteca de la UNAM. Restoration funding provided by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority.


8:20pm A RIVER CALLED TITAS
Ritwik Ghatak (1973) 159 mins
Unclassified 15 + (unless accompanied by an adult)

This multi-faceted “network narrative” set in 1930s Bangladesh examines the intertwining lives and fates of people who live amongst the fisheries on the River Titas. Dedicated to “the myriad of toilers of everlasting Bengal,” Ghatak’s critically acclaimed film is a beautifully detailed and epic social melodrama incorporating elements of bildungsroman, synthesised into a restless whole through the bold use of mise en scène and eruptions of tense Soviet-style montage. Based on the autobiographical novel by Advaita Mulya Barman.

CTEQ Annotation:
In Defence of A River Called Titas by Parichay Patra.

Restored in 2010 by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at Cineteca di Bologna /L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with the Ritwik Memorial Trust and the National Film Archive of India. Additional film elements provided by the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv. Restoration funding provided by the Doha Film Institute.

7 February
OPENING NIGHT 2024

7 February – 21 February
FROM THE BOULEVARDS OF PARIS TO THE DOCKS OF CHERBOURG: LANDMARKS OF THE FRENCH FILM MUSICAL

28 February – 13 March
"LIVING MAY BE TRAGIC, BUT LIFE ISN'T": THE FILMS OF THE TAVIANI BROTHERS

20 March – 3 April
IN THE AFTERGLOW: THE MERCURIAL STARDOM OF GLORIA GRAHAME

Wednesday 10 April
MAN OF THE CINEMA: A TRIBUTE TO JOHN FLAUS AT 90

17 April – 1 May
KEEP ROLLING: ANN HUI'S COUNTER-CINEMA

8 May – 22 May
"ALL ART IS ONE": THE VISIONARY CINEMA OF MICHAEL POWELL AND EMERIC PRESSBURGER

29 May – 12 June
WRITING WITH HER EYES: SUSO CECCHI D'AMICO, SCREENWRITER AS OBSERVER

19 June – 3 July
THE HOUSE THAT MOHSEN BUILT: THE FILMS OF SAMIRA MAKHMALBAF, MARZIEH MESHKINI AND MOHSEN MAKHMALBAF

10 July – 24 July
THE PAIN OF LIVING: JEAN EUSTACHE, BEING CINEMA

Wednesday 31 July
BETWEEN THE WAVE AND REVOLUTION: THE RETURN OF RIVETTE’S LEGENDARY L’AMOUR FOU

4–18 September
BLIND BEASTS, RED ANGELS AND HOODLUM SOLDIERS: THE IRRESISTIBLE CINEMA OF YASUZO MASUMURA

25 September – 9 October
JIŘÍ MENZEL: MAKING COMEDIES IS NO FUN

16–23 October
OF MEN AND MONSTERS: THE CINEMA OF NIKOS KOUNDOUROS

Wednesday 30 October
CONTESTED HISTORIES: THE DOCUMENTARIES OF JENI THORNLEY

6–20 November
THE FIRST AND LAST OF ENGLAND: THE QUEER LEGACIES OF DEREK JARMAN

Wednesday 27 November
PARADING THE PAST: RECENT ERNST LUBITSCH RESTORATIONS

4–11 December
THE SEEDS OF CHANGE: THE DOCUMENTARIES OF TOM ZUBRYCKI

Wednesday 18 December
CARLTON AND BEYOND: THE MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY FILM SOCIETY IN THE 1960s