The 13th edition of NOIR CITY: The San Francisco Film Noir Festival returns to the Castro Theatre, January 16–25, 2015, with a program of 25 titles depicting the darker side of marriage. As festivalgoers have come to expect, the schedule is stocked with neglected gems from familiar filmmakers and sprinkled with surprises from unexpected sources. Even this year's poster has a surprising back story.The program runs the gamut: from revered international masterpieces such as Luchino Visconti's Ossessione which brilliantly brings to life the murderous/adulterous couple from A Postman Always Rings Twice to daffy delights such as Doris Day's Julie, a stewardess stalked by her insane spouse. We're calling it 'Til Death Do Us Part for a reason.
We did, however, manage to find one happy couple for the festival—William Powell and Myrna Loy, as Nick and Nora Charles, in a holiday double bill of The Thin Man and After the Thin Man. In addition, we are also proud to present the world premieres of the Film Noir Foundation's two new 35mm restorations, Woman on the Run (1950) and The Guilty (1947). But wait, there's more! Flowing through the festival are several "tributaries" if you will, subsets of films honoring the work of creative talents such as Joan Fontaine, Robert Ryan, Barbara Stanwyck, Douglas Sirk, and 1950s husband and wife filmmakers Virginia and Andrew Stone. Explore the whole line up on the official NOIR CITY website.
Secure your spot at NOIR CITY with an all-access NOIR CITY PASSPORT. It grants the bearer entry to all 25 films in this year's program at a discount of $2 per program. Because the separate passport holders' queue allows early admittance to the theatre, you'll be able to grab a prime seat at all the shows. And if that's not enough, there's also the opening-night reception at the Castro, exclusively for passport holders. The party kicks off at 6 pm, with conviviality up on the mezzanine and the Fly Right Sisters performing on stage in the auditorium. Buy a Passport and you're still paying $10 per double bill—with one FREE screening thrown in! It's also the perfect holiday gift for the noir lover in your life! All this for the incredible price of $120. Best of all, proceeds from the festival help fund the FNF's preservation efforts year-round. This is your chance to have a smashing time AND preserve a valuable art form. The perfect holiday gift for the film lover in your family. Buy yours today!
Jake Gyllenhaal has earned serious Oscar buzz with his performance as Louis Bloom in writer-director Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler. The unemployed Louis gleefully joins the ranks of freelance videographers who roam the streets of Los Angeles capturing footage of accidents, the grislier the better, to sell to the local television stations. Louis finds a ready buyer in veteran news producer Nina (Rene Russo) who comes to regret her involvement with Louis. The ambitious, and sociopathic, Louis soon takes on the Hearst like philosophy of creating the news and not just recording it.
Actress Rose McGowan is the latest addition to the Film Noir Foundation's Advisory Council, joining such notables as James Ellroy, Leonard Maltin, Dennis Lehane, and Marsha Hunt. She became aware of the FNF's work after appearing with at the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival with Eddie Muller, where the pair hosted Recrea session on vintage noir—imagining themselves the co-heads of RKO Radio Pictures in 1947, seeking to create the ultimate film noir. McGowan has appeared in such films as The Doom Generation (1995), Scream (1996), Jawbreaker (1999), Grindhouse (2007), and Fifty Dead Men Walking (2008), among many others. On television, she played Ann-Margret in the Emmy-winning Elvis (2005), costarred on the popular series Charmed (2001-06), and guest starred on the cable series Nip/Tuck (2009). She's also starred in the 2010 re-boot of Conan the Barbarian and the on-line series Chosen (2013). Recently, McGowan made her directorial debut with the short film, Dawn (2014), and she stars in the forthcoming feature adaptation of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart.
In the U.S. pulp fiction writer David Goodis is best known for—or perhaps only known for—his novel Dark Passage, thanks to the popular film adaptation starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Although the film brought its author great opportunities, his Hollywood screenwriting career would shortly fizzle out. He returned to his family home in Philadelphia, disappearing from the public eye—but launching a prodigious output of original pulp paperbacks which would earn him a huge reputation, especially in France, where his novels inspired many film adaptions, including François Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player. In America, however, Goodis never again regained the mainstream success he had with Dark Passage. In 1982, French journalist Phillip Garnier decided to plumb the mysterious depths that had seemingly swallowed the reclusive writer. The resulting book, Goodis: A Life in Black and White is now available for the first time in English. You can buy it directly from Black Pool Productions or at one of our NOIR CITY festivals.
On Thursday night, August 14, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hosted their annual grant awards banquet at Los Angeles' Beverly Hilton Hotel. For the second consecutive year, one of the grant recipients was the Film Noir Foundation —with actress and new FNF advisory council member Rose McGowan accepting on behalf of the Foundation and FNF promotional director Daryl Sparks in attendance. The $25,000 grant will immediately be put to use, helping to complete restoration work on the FNF's latest project. Details of this rescue and reclamation mission will be announced in the Fall issue of the NOIR CITY e-magazine, releasing October 1. Especially exciting is that this year's efforts have resulted in the restoration of two "orphaned" noir films, both of which will have their re-premieres at the upcoming NOIR CITY festival in San Francisco, Jan. 16–25, 2015.
A pair of seemingly lost films, Woman on the Run (1950) and The Guilty (1947), are the Film Noir Foundation's "rescues" for 2014. Both have been restored in brand new 35mm negatives; pristine prints of each will be presented to audiences on the NOIR CITY festival circuit in 2015. Woman on the Run is a unique noir love story, shot largely on location in San Francisco, with star Ann Sheridan serving as the film's unbilled executive producer. The film vanished from circulation after the termination of the independent production's distribution deal with Universal in the mid-1950s. Following insistent prodding from festival programmers Eddie Muller and Anita Monga, a pristine 35mm print was discovered at Universal in 2002 and debuted at the first San Francisco NOIR CITY festival in 2003. Sadly, the lone U.S. 35mm print was destroyed in a 2008 fire that burned many films in the Universal vault. In 2013, the FNF discovered in the BFI archive original elements from the British release of the film; these served as the basis of the restoration. + READ MORE.
The Guilty is the second John Reinhardt-directed film to be restored by the FNF, following in the wake of High Tide (1948), restored in 2013. The 71-minute B feature was the first film produced by Texas oil magnate Jack Wrather, and like High Tide was distributed by Monogram Pictures. It's based on the Cornell Woolrich short story, "Two Men in a Furnished Room" ."The Woolrich connection gives the film cachet," said Eddie Muller, "and it might just be the best of the low-budget Hollywood adaptations of his work. The modest production values enhance the seediness of the story. A desolate, late-night Woolrich vibe saturates the film. I'm thrilled we could rescue this one."
The restorations have been fully funded by the FNF, with elements supplied by the British Film Institute and project management provided by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. A recent grant of $25,000 by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association accounted for almost a third of Woman's restoration budget. The endowment was accepted by FNF advisory council member Rose McGowan at the HFPA's annual Grants Banquet on August 14. The majority of restoration funding, however, is provided by FNF donors, and ticket sales from the annual NOIR CITY festival in San Francisco. You can help us keep restoring classic films noir by donating to the FNF. ↑ COLLAPSE
At the recently concluded NoirCon in Philadelphia, screenwriter and professor Howard A. Rodman presented the FNF's Eddie Muller with the first Anne Friedberg Award for contributions to noir education and preservation. Rodman declared Muller "the Raoul Wallenberg of noir, rescuing so many noir films from the dustbin of history, and tirelessly helping them find their place in the world. … As Karl Marx said (or as Godard said that Karl Marx said): human labor resurrects things from the dead. It is easy to preserve a cultural heritage by entombing it in amber; it's a far more difficult task to make it live. Anne Friedberg did that, and Eddie Muller does that, and it's a calling that all of us, gathered here this weekend, wish to honor and celebrate."
Anne Friedberg (1952-2009) was a scholar and historian of film, first at NYU, then at the University of California Irvine, and finally at the University of Southern California. At the time of her death, she was a Motion Picture Academy Scholar, and the President-Elect of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies. Her works, which continue to shape the evolving field of visual studies, include Window Shopping: Cinema and the Postmodern, and The Virtual Window: from Alberti to Microsoft.
Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson braves the difficulties of adapting Thomas Pynchon to the screen with his neo-noir Inherent Vice. Anderson's Chandler like sense of Los Angeles'geography and his ability to masterfully assemble and direct impressive casts makes him the perfect director for the challenge. Joaquin Phoenix leads the ensemble as private eye Doc who investigates the disappearance of a womanizing real-estate developer (Eric Roberts) on the behest of a beautiful woman (Katherine Waterston). Absurdities and possible conspiracies abound as Doc delves into the mystery, only to find a second missing man (Owen Wilson) and himself on the wrong side of the L.A.P.D. in the guise of Detective Bigfoot Bjornsen (Josh Brolin). Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Torro, Jena Malone, and Maya Rudolph also contribute to the confusion. Visit the official website for more on this labyrinth.
OCT 22 - MAR 1
The Skirball Cultural Center pays homage to the actors, directors, writers, and composers who fled Nazi persecution in Europe with Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950, running October 23 through March 1. The exhibition explores the impact on American cinema and culture of film directors such as Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger, and Billy Wilder, who made their way to California and shaped the look of Hollywood's "Golden Age." Different genres in which the exiles and émigrés were especially productive—the exile film, the anti-Nazi film, film noir, and comedy— are addressed through a never-before assembled selection of film footage, drawings, costumes, posters, photographs, and memorabilia, including numerous objects from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Margaret Herrick Library.
Complementing the Light & Noir exhibition is The Noir Effect which considers how film noir gave rise to major trends in contemporary American popular culture, art, and media. Exploring key noir elements such as the city, the femme fatale, the antihero, and moral codes, The Noir Effect considers how the noir phenomenon has found creative and pervasive expression in American society and culture. Go here for details.
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