However, when the AFI wanted to consolidate all its exhibition and run an enhanced national cinematheque, the AFC withdrew the funding, ran the project itself for several years, then watched it gradually dwindle away. Such a film centre could stage major festivals, host film classes and allow the public to watch films on demand, while the National Film and Sound Archive would be able to screen work from its collection. And while Barangaroo might have much to offer, just how long will it actually take to come into being? The Poetry of Dreams in the gallery. Will the new cinematheque, if it actually happens, face an immediate challenge of proving its relevance to this next generation? To some extent these fortunes reflect an inability to come to grips with what is at stake Its current season is The Savage Eye: The first was won in by distinguished Japanese architect Kazuo Segima, with a building like a glowing white box. The pious will call Cinema a holy place, the secular will see it as the treasure-house of an artform still capable of great things.
Will they even consider coming to the cinematheque? To some extent these fortunes reflect an inability to come to grips with what is at stake The Poetry of Dreams in the gallery. The first was won in by distinguished Japanese architect Kazuo Segima, with a building like a glowing white box. The attractions should be inside, on the screen, not the view. Such a film centre could stage major festivals, host film classes and allow the public to watch films on demand, while the National Film and Sound Archive would be able to screen work from its collection. Moving images will be shown as they were created to be seen, with precision and ambience. Most feature curated and changing programs of classic and current cinema, focussing on themes, genres, national cinemas and directors, and increasingly on innovations in screen practice. And while Barangaroo might have much to offer, just how long will it actually take to come into being? That means loving not only its accomplishments but its potential, its promise and prospects. By it all came to nought; negotiations broke down, the money ran out, and the MCA cut back on staff, including the cinematheque coordinator. It was argued that not only would audiences profit from regular screenings of films from other national cinemas, curated seasons of the work of particular directors, screenings of specific genres and of rarely seen gems, but that our own filmmakers, film students and audiences could benefit from being exposed to such a rich diversity of filmmaking practice. Sydneysiders are notoriously fickle; a cinematheque, starting from scratch, is going to need all the help it can get to attract and build the sort of loyal and committed audience it will need. In its two modern, state of the art cinemas, GOMA runs the Australian Cinematheque, presenting retrospective and thematic film programs and exhibitions, exploring the important lines of influence between the moving image and other areas of visual culture, and showcasing the work of influential filmmakers and artists. However, when the AFI wanted to consolidate all its exhibition and run an enhanced national cinematheque, the AFC withdrew the funding, ran the project itself for several years, then watched it gradually dwindle away. I can only hope there are enough cinephiles out there, people who, like me, still want to explore that promised land of cinema. Of course, this is only the latest in a number of attempts to establish a cinematheque in Sydney, even if it is now part of an ambitious and high profile project with major cultural support. This venture was supported financially by the Australian Film Commission. The pious will call Cinema a holy place, the secular will see it as the treasure-house of an artform still capable of great things. GOMA focuses on the art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and its flagship project is the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art series of exhibitions, now a major event on the national and international arts calendar. The next program is Alfred Hitchcock: Of course, Sydney does have some cinematic pleasures, with the NSW Art Gallery running an imaginative program of free screenings allied to its exhibitions; various film societies screening to their loyal audiences in the city and suburbs, and several of the national cultural bodies offering screenings on an occasional basis. Even the Chauvel Cinema, now part of the Palace chain, has again programmed a regular weekly slot called a cinematheque that screens a rather eccentric, esoteric program. In Sydney the AFI had handed management of the Chauvel to the idiosyncratic Alex Mescovitz, who refused to screen the Melbourne Cinematheque-curated program in its entirety, preferring to pick and choose, augmenting the program with many of his own favourite films — which included a lot of Kurosawa, film noir and Tarkovsky. RealTime issue Oct-Nov pg. They proposed a permanent space with state-of-the-art facilities and year-round exhibition, focusing a cinematheque style of programming on the history of the moving image, including both international and Australian production, as well as innovative trends in screen-based media. So the point is not why it has taken so long for this idea to surface, but why the admittedly spasmodic and differing efforts over many years have never really delivered a permanent and recognised cinematheque.
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