The 17th Annual Los Angeles Film Noir Festival (aka NOIR CITY: Hollywood), running April 3–19, 2015 at the Egyptian Theatre, presented by the American Cinematheque and the Film Noir Foundation, promises a one-two punch of revered classics and undiscovered gems. Rarities include the Foundation's new 35mm restorations of The Guilty (1947) and Woman on the Run (1950), as well as new prints of The Underworld Story (1950), and English-subtitled versions (a first!) of three awesome Argentine films noir from the early '50s. This year's program also includes tributes to Humphrey Bogart and Barbara Stanwyck, as well as novelists Dorothy B. Hughes and Cornell Woolrich. The Bogart tribute is a double bill of the classic noir Dark Passage (1947), co-starring wife Lauren Bacall, and the neo-noir This Last Lonely Place (2014) on which their son, Stephen Bogart, served as executive producer. The screening features a discussion between films with Stephen Bogart, Lonely Place writer-director Steve Anderson, and festival host Eddie Muller. A cocktail reception follows, courtesy of Bogart's Real English Gin, a festival sponsor.
Don't miss the closing-weekend Film Noir Party, featuring dancing to Dean Mora's Swingtet, martinis, casino games and other naughty-but-nice noir delights—all swinging around a screening of the The Guilty. Recover from the Saturday night festivities with Sunday's marathon of four 1930s' proto-noirs. Visit the Egyptian website for the full schedule, special events, and ticket information. FNF cohorts Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode will be alternating hosting duties throughout the festival.
LONE STAR NOIR: save the dates! NOIR CITY returns to the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in Austin, Texas, May 8 through 10, for a ten-film festival focusing on the stories of Cornell Woolrich! We will also be returning to Chicago, Portland (OR), Washington D.C., and Kansas City later in the year.
Movie lovers from around the globe had a grand time at the 13th annual edition of NOIR CITY: The San Francisco Film Noir Festival, held at the Castro Theatre, January 16–25, 2015. The program of 25 titles depicted the darker side of marriage, although the audience had a fun and festive time. Official NOIR CITY photographer David M. Allen captured all the excitement and sartorial splendor of the festival's ten-day run. View and buy prints from his photo coverage of NOIR CITY 13 here. Then, mark your calendars for next year's 14th annual festival in San Francisco, January 22–31, 2016. For more coverage of NOIR CITY 13, visit NoirCity.com.
Gun Crazy caused barely a ripple in public consciousness when it hit movie screens in 1950. Yet over time it would prove to be the most innovative and provocative motion picture of its era—a simple genre film, but packed with so much cinematic bravura and timeless symbolism, its power has spanned decades, crossed oceans, and influenced countless filmmakers. It's no stretch to declare Gun Crazy one of the essential American films—as well as a cornerstone of the auteur theory that's dominated cinema discourse since the 1960s. Its larger-than-life reputation among cinephiles has mainly been based on the recollections—also larger-than-life—of its director, Joseph H. Lewis, whose intriguing yet surprisingly short career never again reached the level of this bona-fide classic.
In this thoroughly researched and vividly told tale, FNF President and NOIR CITY co-programmer Eddie Muller explodes many of the entrenched myths about Gun Crazy—and the auteur theory itself. He subverts the film's legend with the fascinating story of its actual creation, a six-year struggle that involved an array of exceptional collaborators. Packed with never-before-seen ephemera—original script pages (some never filmed), production notes, on-set photos—Gun Crazy: The Origin of American Outlaw Cinema is now available for sale online exclusively from Black Pool Productions.
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 Philippe 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 was immediately put to use, helping to complete restoration work on the FNF's latest film restoration project.
At the end of September, HFPA board member Yoram Kahana contacted the FNF to advise us that after additional consideration, HFPA had decided to increase the 2014 grant to the FNF by an additional $40,000! It seems that the grant proposal for Woman on the Run created by FNF Promotional Director Daryl Sparks was so impressive that HFPA president Theo Kingma— once he'd beheld for himself the detailed 47-page document — took the unprecedented step of funding the grant in full! And, on-stage opening night of NOIRCITY 13, HFPA's Yoram Kahana presented FNF president Eddie Muller with a plaque celebrating the restoration of Woman on the Run prior to the film's re-premiere. Quite the memorable restoration!
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. + READ MORE.
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.
The Guilty is the second John Reinhardt-directed film to be restored by the FNF, following in the wake of High Tide (1947), 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 UCLA Film & Television Archive. A recent grant of $65,000 by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association accounted for almost 90% of Woman's restoration budget. The majority of funding for restoration projects, 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
AUG 20 - 23
The Noir Film Festival returns August 20-23 to its unique home, Křivoklát Castle located in the Czech Republic. This regal setting should prove the perfect backdrop for the Gothic Noir series, one of eleven series that forms this year's programming. The festival's third incarnation also includes three separate series honoring noir legends Joan Crawford, John Garfield and Orson Welles. The HBO Projections and Czech/Czechoslovak Noirs Annual series, festival favorites, return this year. The Noir Parodies, Remakes and French Noir series will provide alternative views of the genre. Check out the official website for more information including how to follow their ongoing programming announcements via social media.
NOW AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING
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.
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