While the past fortnight has devastated Melbourne’s arts scene due to preventative closures, ACMI has been relatively unaffected. That’s because the Australian Centre for the Moving Image has been closed way before it was cool, shutting its Federation Square venue last year for a $40 million redevelopment.
ACMI’s regular Melbourne Cinémathèque screenings that were still running at the Capitol Theatre, however, had to be shut down in line with government advice. But the closure wasn’t for long with ACMI launching Virtual Cinémathèque online.
The online cinema sessions won’t follow the program for the 2020 Melbourne Cinémathèque season but will still feature double bills that focus on specific actors, directors or themes. The classic and contemporary films showcased are chosen by the Melbourne Cinémathèque as well as ACMI’s Film Department, and will feature annotations and introductions wherever possible.
The weekly event will have its program announced every Tuesday starting March 24. First up will be two films (The White Balloon and Offside) from Iranian new wave director Jafar Panahi on Wednesday, March 25.
Virtual Cinémathèque will screen The White Balloon and Offside via SBS on Demand, so hook yourself up with a free account if you haven’t already. Keep in mind that future films will be chosen from a variety of streaming services, so stay up-to-date by visiting ACMI's Virtual Cinémathèque event page or by following them on social media.