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Dewey1960

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Everything posted by Dewey1960

  1. Time for a first weekend report on *NOT NECESSARILY NOIR* at the Roxie. While the crowds haven't been as huge as this past Spring's program, the audience response, I'm happy to say, has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Friday night's opening program of *INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS* (1956) and *THE CREEPING UNKNOWN* (1955) was met with loud approval. One of the risks of programming a film like *BODY SNATCHERS* is that it's a film that has been wildly over-saturated on cable TV and home video. Finding someone who's never seen it would be a challenge, and it was apparent that most of the peop
  2. Thanks ChiO - You probably don't realize it but you were the biggest reason I got so turned on by Garfein's film *SOMETHING WILD*. Had you not recommended it so highly I might not have checked it out further on TCM. Now it's going up on the big screen and we have you to thank! Maven - your appreciation is greatly appreciated! The Roxie Theater has finally posted the info on this series on their website; here's the link: http://www.roxie.com/events/details.cfm?eventID=EBF108FA-B3AB-EBEE-755ED20AE1239F63
  3. Hey everyone - Next month the Roxie Theater in San Francisco plays host to my latest film series-- *NOT NECESSARILY NOIR!* Two thrilling weeks of dark and disturbing motion picture entertainment featuring films in a variety of unusual genres (horror, science fiction, westerns) as well as films made in COLOR in the years long past the period generally associated with film noir. Here's the line-up: *Friday, August 20* *INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS* (1956) Don Siegel's original version of what is, for many, the ultimate sci-fi noir of the period! *THE CREEPING UNKNOWN* (19
  4. Hi JF - Thanks for your very kind words about my noir show at the Roxie! I think it's going to be enormously exciting with a number of films that have been quite elusive. As for the films I'm personally most thrilled about presenting are: *JOHNNY O'CLOCK*, terrific debut feature from Robert Rossen, *THE WHISTLER*, totally eerie B noir directed by William Castle, *SOUL OF A MONSTER*, really interesting supernatural noir with the ominous George MacReady, both Joseph H. Lewis noirs, *MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS* and *SO DARK THE NIGHT*, Fritz Lang's evocative sizzler *HUMAN DESIRE*, the pair of noirs
  5. Hi finance! You might find it interesting to know that one of the films in the Roxie's upcoming film noir extravaganza, *THE BURGLAR*, was written by one of Philadelphia's most notable writers--David Goodis. Much of the picture was filmed right there in Philly!
  6. Arkadin said: *Soul of a Monster hits the big screen! I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks about that one.* *SOUL OF A MONSTER* represents one of the more intriguing hybrids of the noir style---a blend of pulp mysticism and B noir mystery. I think that fans of the style will find this film to be a revelation and hopefully open the door for more widespread acceptance. It's quite remarkable on a variety of levels.
  7. For those interested in more info regarding the Roxie noir program, including descriptions of films, etc...here's the link to the Roxie Theater's website: http://www.roxie.com/events/details.cfm?eventid=80E856EB%2DACC8%2DFC5D%2DA2373DFE6FB28ADB
  8. I?m pleased and proud to announce that the *Roxie Theater in San Francisco* has invited me back to curate another program of great noir films, commencing on *Thursday, September 17 and running through Wednesday, September 30*. This time around we?ll be presenting a whopping twenty-two films from the fabled vaults of *Columbia Pictures*! Although it has been reported that Sony has plans for releasing a handful of these titles on DVD later in the year, none are currently available in that format. I sincerely hope that noir enthusiasts from all over, not just the Bay Area, will find their way to
  9. I?m pleased and proud to announce that the *Roxie Theater in San Francisco* has invited me back to curate another program of great noir films, commencing on *Thursday, September 17 and running through Wednesday, September 30*. This time around we?ll be presenting a whopping twenty-two films from the fabled vaults of *Columbia Pictures*! Although it has been reported that Sony has plans for releasing a handful of these titles on DVD later in the year, none are currently available in that format. I sincerely hope that noir enthusiasts from all over, not just the Bay Area, will find their way to
  10. Our film noir series at the Roxie in San Francisco---I WAKE UP DREAMING---went out on a high note Thursday night with the massive pairing of *CITY OF FEAR* (1959) and *SHACK OUT ON 101* (1955), two cold war curios that had the packed house on their feet. This has been a great two weeks of dark fun, but it isn't quite over yet. The crowds have demanded more, so we've cobbled together another six nights of double-shots, a Best of the Fest that (finally!) comes to an end on Wednesday, June 3. Last night (Friday) we showed *THE DEVIL THUMBS A RIDE* and *FRAMED* Sat 5/30: *ALL NIGHT LONG* and *TH
  11. Another exceptional double feature *Tuesday night at the Roxie!!* First up was *THE PRETENDER*, a quite rare 1947 poverty row noir from Republic Pictures. Directed by W. Lee Wilder (Billy Wilder's older brother!) and starring the incredible Albert Dekker, it also has the distinction of being the first hard-core noir film shot by John Alton. His work here is deliriously bizarre, creating major mood shifts with sudden dramatic lighting changes and eye-popping shadow play. The story of a corrupt financial advisor who plunders a client's holdings is transformed into an exercise in mounting parano
  12. CM asked: *with the audiences at your show, do they watch the film respectfully, knowing the film was from another time...or do they laugh at it. Are they getting it or making fun of it?* I can honestly say that the Roxie noir crowd is perhaps the most respectful and reverential audience there is. They laugh when something is legitimately funny and cheer wildly when that particular emotional response is called for. I've sat through many so-called classic noir films at other theaters and the audience reaction can be maddening at best; condescending and smug. The Castro Theater, not far from
  13. Last night we presented a pair of insanely rare and obscure noirs with the underlying theme of prostitution running wildly through them. And while the theme manifested in this sensationalized nature, these two films were really much more about the abusive treatment of women at the hands of evil, sadistic men. *UNDER AGE* (1941) is a seldom seen Columbia B oddity directed by Edward Dmytryk near the beginning of his illustrious yet controversial career. Two young sisters are released from the Girl's Reformatory and are immediately preyed upon by a lascivious group of men (pimps) who offer them
  14. CM, you said: *I have "Blonde Ice." I'd better pull that out of my pile soon and check it out.* You've got a handful of great reasons to check out *BLONDE ICE*, like pronto: 1) Leslie Brooks, a fairly obscure thesp, turns in one incredible femme fatale performance, very much in the Janis Carter / Jean Gillie school of casual cruelty. 2) It was directed by Jack Bernhard, he of *DECOY* fame. 3) It was rumored (as yet unsubstantiated) to have originated from a story written by Edgar G. Ulmer. It was produced by Martin Mooney, who produced Ulmer's classic *DETOUR*. 4) It's only 73 minutes.
  15. Here?s a random list of 1940s B noirs that just happened to fly out of my head; there are literally hundreds more where these came from, so you might see it as something of a ?starter kit.? I intentionally left off many of the higher profile titles form the major studios---many of those (like *JOHNNY O'CLOCK, PHANTOM LADY, BLACK ANGEL*, etc) tend to blur the line betwixt A & B. The films listed here are bona fide B delights, not to be missed by hard-core fanatics! *STRANGER ON THE 3rd FLOOR* (1940; RKO) *STREET OF CHANCE* (1942; PARAMOUNT) *THE LEOPARD MAN* (1943; RKO) *WHEN STRANGERS
  16. Hey Rick - So sorry that I missed you! On those particular days I wasn't able to make it down for the early matinees, only the evening shows. I'm not sure if you noticed, but we've held the series over for an additional six days beginning on Friday, May 29---with matinee screenings on Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps you'll be able to make it on down for some more of these great noirs! Thanks for being here!
  17. ChiO sez: *Thank you, Dewey, for a week of nightmares.* And I say, thank YOU, ChiO for making the time and effort to journey out here to the West Coast for this exciting array of darkness and doom. Your presence at the Roxie was deeply appreciated by Yours Truly, and how!! I think our screening of *THE BURGLAR* created a raft of new fans for this sadly neglected masterpiece; could be time to start revising those Top 25 lists!
  18. Two more Eagle-Lion noir masterpieces on Sunday, both with a hint of what would someday be known as the "Twilight Zone" touch. First up was *REPEAT PERFORMANCE* (1947), a rarely seen gem starring Joan Leslie (the young lame girl from the 1941 Bogart gangster epic *HIGH SIERRA* ), Louis Hayward and Richard Basehart. This ingenious film suggests that given the opportunity to live a difficult and tortured year all over again, things just might work out differently. Without even a hint as to how or why this is happening, the film brings together a dizzying array of eccentric characters and motiva
  19. Thanks, Maven, much appreciated! I'd love to take this show on the road, but it's somewhat problematic. The Film Forum has their own programming staff and it's not likely they'd be receptive to a West Coast interloper in their midst. Plus the majority of these prints are in 16mm (surprisingly, many commercial theaters are simply not equipped to run 16mm) and belong to private collectors who would no doubt have many second thoughts about them being shuttled across the country. So we just might have to be content with San Francisco showings for the time being. But it sure would have been a great
  20. Saturday's pairing of *THE BURGLAR* (1957) and *WITNESS TO MURDER* (1954) drew perhaps our largest overall crowd yet. We were able to screen Sony's beautiful 35mm widescreen print of *THE BURGLAR* and many of those in the audience who had never seen it before now proclaim it to be among their most favorite films ever, noir or otherwise. Cinematically jaw-dropping in every respect, it is a film that will haunt you forever. Director Paul Wendkos (this was his feature debut) drew upon many intriguing references, most notably techniques employed by Orson Welles, to tell this disturbingly morbid ta
  21. Nothing would make me happier than seeing *THE BURGLAR* finally take its rightful place in the pantheon of great noir films with a long overdue and well-deserved DVD release. The home video division of SONY, who controls all of these Columbia titles, is notoriously slow to pick up on these things, but now that they seem to have caught on to the fact that noir has a significant following, perhaps someday it will surface. It would have been a more interesting choice for their proposed box set than *THE BROTHERS RICO*, but let's just be grateful that the process has begun! And yes, yesterday's s
  22. Right you are, Ark, this is truly an exceptional set. For me the only weak link is *THE BROTHERS RICO* which, despite a fine director (Phil Karlson) and the presence of the great Richard Conte, it's a pretty routine film overall. The rest, however, are exemplary examples of the style: *NIGHTFALL* is one of Tourneur's best, *PUSHOVER* may well be MacMurray's most interesting noir performance, *CITY OF FEAR* is an explosive and obscure noir just waiting to be re-discovered and Nick Ray's *IN A LONELY PLACE* is near the very top of most noir fan's list of favorites. Great stuff!
  23. I think it's safe to say that last night's program at the Roxie was one of the most eagerly anticipated double features of the entire series. *NEW YORK CONFIDENTIAL* (1955) is a film that is never broadcast on TV and has never been available on any home video format. Which is fairly shocking given its incredible cast: Broderick Crawford, Richard Conte, and Anne Bancroft. On the surface it's not much more than the typical "expose" film of the period---organized crime running rampant in the Big City---but in reality it winds up being an incisive human drama filled with harshly rendered violence
  24. Wow, a great show last night at the Roxie! A nearly sold-out house had the pleasure of catching Don Siegel's sadly ignored crime noir *PRIVATE HELL 36* (as nicely noted by Holly, below) and the very tart and tawdry *NO MAN'S WOMAN*, featuring one of the wonderful Marie Windsor's most outre performances! The crowd really devoured these gems, and how! Thanks for your nice comments about the series, Holly. This has truly been a very exciting program to put together and I'm thrilled you're enjoying the films! Tonight's pairing should pack the house: a beautiful 35mm print of the incredibl
  25. As Holly mentioned, last night's double feature at the Roxie was a total crowd pleaser on every level. What I'm finding most interesting about this series is the fact that our audiences are so completely into the films. Often times B pictures are regarded condescendingly by so-called sophisticated cosmopolitan filmgoers. But the Roxie crowd has been respectful to the Nth degree, laughing when the jokes are legitimately funny and cheering wildly when the action gets cranked up! Tonight's program is a true example of the "ridiculous and the sublime" -- Marie Windsor in the outrageously outre 195
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