The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present
Death is just the beginning in this black comedy about a butcher who murders his wife and her lover. Literally told in reverse, it begins with its protagonist’s guillotined head reattaching itself to its body as its owner (played by prolific Czech actor Vladimír Menšík) declares this his “birth”. Lipský (Lemonade Joe) treats us to an absurdist life, with slapstick elements borrowed from Chaplin and Keaton, in which time’s ravages are reversed: jealousies undone, young love reattained.
Preceded by The Robber (1927) 6 mins – Unclassified 15+. A funny short promotional film for An Old Gangster’s Molls.
Digital prints courtesy of the National Film Archive in Prague.
Also screening on Wed 27 September
“All The World’s Bedlam”: Screwball, Czechoslovak style
Happy End (1967) – Wed 27 Sep, 7pm
An Old Gangster's Molls (1927) – Wed 27 Sep, 8.45pm
Eva Fools Around (1939) – Wed 4 Oct, 7pm
You Are a Widow, Sir (1971) – Wed 4 Oct, 8.45pm
Tomorrow I'll Wake Up and Scald Myself with Tea (1977) – Wed 11 Oct, 7pm
Heave Ho! (1934) – Wed 11 Oct, 8.45pm
About the program
This season charts 50 years of a peculiarly antic, extraordinarily inventive strain of popular comedy from Czechoslovakia, spanning the late silent era through to the end of the 1970s. It highlights the extraordinary comedic talents of performers still famed domestically but too little known in the anglophone world...
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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.