CINEMANIACS Reveal August-December 2023 Programming
While there’s still two films to go in their current program (LADY IN A CAGE, BOOM!) at ACMI in Melbourne, CINEMANIACS have revealed their remaining programming for 2023, from August through December and there’s everything from classic monsters to superheroes to demonic possession to wayward teenagers.
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN + FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN
To celebrate the launch of film historian and writer Emma Westwood’s tome on James Whale’s Universal Monsters classic THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935), Cinemaniacs will present a double-feature of THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN followed by a panel discussion hosted by Emma with critics/historians and contributors to her book: Cerise Howard, Dr. Eloise Ross and Andrew Nette.
w/ introduction by author/historian Lee Gambin
Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson play two girls from polar opposite sides of the tracks who meet at a neurology centre, run away, take to the harsh New York streets and start an underground band called The Sleez Sisters; sparking a revolution amongst dejected and disenfranchised teenage girls. With cult favourite Tim Curry as a DJ who both acts as a Greek Chorus of sorts and is someone completely inspired by the girls’ work, the film would be a cultural landmark in punk cinema and most notably an essential feminist statement that would help inspire the likes of punk feminist movements to come a decade later with the advent of Riot Grrrl.
MARY JANE’S NOT A VIRGIN ANYMORE
w/ introduction by Dr Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
It has all the ingredients of a cult film staple; music by Mudhoney and Babes in Toyland, cameos by underground luminaries like Jello Biafra, and a fun, frank and feminist exploration of sexuality and identity as Jacobson flips the teen movie template and tells the tale of a young woman seeking to lose her virginity. The cut-and-paste zine aesthetic so pervasive to Riot Grrrl’s DIY ideology gets an electrifying cinematic twist in this unforgettable tale of sexual discovery.
BEYOND THE DOOR
w/ introduction by Hande Noyan
A young, successful couple in San Francisco are given a rude surprise when the news they are expecting their third child comes with a nasty twist – the baby is growing too fast, and its mother Jessica (Juliet Mills) is behaving in increasingly erratic ways. Mental health issues, or something more? This delirious cult classic dials the possession film all the way up to eleven in a movie that has to be seen to be believed.
THE EXORCIST – ORIGINAL THEATRICAL CUT
w/ introduction by author/historian Lee Gambin
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of THE EXORCIST with the newly restored Original Theatrical Version. This cinematic landmark about a successful film actress whose life is turned upside down when her young daughter exhibits out of the ordinary physical, mental and emotional states of being that baffle physicians and psychiatrists is an undisputed masterpiece. Based on the novel by William Peter Blatty, directed by William Friedkin and starring Ellen Burstyn as the distraught actress facing the horrors that are unleashed through her demonically possessed daughter Regan (Linda Blair), The Exorcist details the essence of tangible evils and puts them in context when dealing with harrowing supernatural ones.
w/ introduction by historian/festival programmer Jarret Gahan
Twin Peaks’ Mädchen Amick stars as an unsuspecting woman who crosses paths with an incestuous feline mother/son duo who take human form to suck the life force from their unsuspecting victims. Small-town Indiana becomes the setting for a refreshing twist on the survival of the fittest, an American Gothic cult classic where family values are put to the test in one of the most underrated horror fever dreams of the 1990s.
BATMAN RETURNS – 35MM PRINT
w/ introduction by author/historian John Harrison
Neurosis and sexual kink come to the fore as Bruce Wayne/Batman (Michael Keaton) deals with multiple threats to Gotham City, including a corrupt industrialist (Christopher Walken), a deformed mayoral candidate who was raised in the sewers by giant penguins (Danny DeVito), and a meek secretary who is reborn as the feline-esque embodiment of repressed, vengeful womanhood (Michelle Pfieffer). With its superb production design inspired by German expressionist cinema, and boasting a clever and very witty screenplay by Daniel Waters, Batman Returns is a film as much about misfits and monsters, as it is about comic book superheroes.
Visit the ACMI website for full programming, session and ticketing details.
CINEMANIACS is a volunteer-run community of cinephiles that hold monthly screenings of retrospective films across all genres. Each screening is presented by Melbourne’s finest film historians including panels, presentations and video introductions by cast & crew from the films being screened. If you want a truly unique experience alongside friendly, welcoming folks, then come along to CINEMANIACS.