Ernst Lubitsch

Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI

Parading the Past: Recent Ernst Lubitsch Restorations

Film program


Wed 27 Nov 2024

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Ernst Lubitsch (1892–1947) is one of the defining figures of the cinema of the first half of the 20th century. Starting as an actor in Max Reinhardt’s Deutsches Theatre, he quickly became a key director of German cinema, moving dextrously between comedies of manners, exotic fantasias and epic historical romances and adventures. Renowned as a director of elegant and sophisticated sexual comedies, his wonderfully balanced and playful work is a marvel of intricate production design and expressive mise en scène. Leaving for the United States in 1923, Lubitsch quickly established himself as a brilliant director of bittersweet, almost continental comic romances and Ruritanian fantasies of a vanishing Europe. The overwhelming musical quality of his cinema allowed his silent work to be truly alive to the possibilities of sound and enabled his smooth, often breathtakingly inventive transition into the talkie era.

A multi-talented artist, Lubitsch was also a successful and expressive comic film actor in the 1910s and became Production Manager at Paramount Pictures in the mid-1930s, an appointment that recognised his extraordinary influence and mercurial “touch”. This program showcases the fourth film Lubitsch made in Hollywood, Forbidden Paradise (1924), starring the iconic Pola Negri (who had collaborated on six films with Lubitsch in Germany), alongside two further recent restorations of important films from his German period: Carmen (1918; also starring Negri) and Kohlhiesels Töchter (1920).


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Films in this program (Wed 27 Nov 2024)

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About Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven. 

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