The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present
Tabu: A Story of the South Seas
Shot with a largely local cast and crew in Tahiti and Bora Bora, Murnau’s collaboration with documentarian Robert Flaherty (who left before the shoot was over) transcends exoticism through its humanistic portrayal of a young man (Matahi) and woman (Anne Chevalier) who escape the prohibitive traditions of their home island only to then be exploited by Western colonialism. Free from the meticulous sets and artificial lighting of his German and Hollywood films, the film seemed to signal a new artistic era for Murnau; ended by the director’s untimely death in a car accident one week before the film’s premiere.
Also screening on Wed 23 November
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) – Wed 9 Nov, 7pm
The Last Laugh (1924) – Wed 9 Nov, 8.50pm
Nosferatu (1922) – Wed 16 Nov, 7pm
Faust (1926) – Wed 16 Nov, 8.25pm
Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931) – Wed 23 Nov, 7pm
The Haunted Castle (1921) – Wed 23 Nov, 8.40pm
The Grand Duke's Finances (1924) – Wed 23 Nov, 9.50pm
Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (1888–1931) was a perfectionist, an aesthete and, in many ways, a visionary, whose poetic, painterly, literate and highly cinematic sensibilities brought to the golden age of German cinema new concepts of film form based on a synthesis of all the elements then in vogue – from Caligari-like horrors to an expressionist use of actors’ bodies through to a rugged, sometimes optimistic naturalism (especially in his American period).
Read our COVIDSafe visitor guidelines, information on accessibility, amenities, transport, dining options and more.
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.