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Another Noir Festival at the Roxie Theater - May 14-27, 2010


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The noir festival at the Roxie Theater in SF is back for a 2nd year, this time with 28 film noir classics scheduled to run from May 14 to May 27.


The full schedule has not yet been released, but the Roxie website (roxie.com) has some preliminary information:


*TWO thrilling WEEKS of impossibly RARE B-Noirs from the notorious shadow factories of Hollywood?s Poverty Row!*


It?s Springtime at the Roxie - where TWENTY-EIGHT half-forgotten film noir classics and curios will bloom boldly before your disbelieving eyes at San Francisco?s first and foremost House of Noir?The Roxie Theater! This Spring?s amazing cavalcade features six titles from Columbia?s legendary and darkly sinister 1940s WHISTLER mystery series starring Richard Dix: MARK OF THE WHISTLER (from a story by Cornell Woolrich!), MYSTERIOUS INTRUDER (a major noir rediscovery from director William Castle!!), POWER OF THE WHISTLER (with the incredible Janis Carter!!!) as well as VOICE OF THE WHISTLER, THE THIRTEENTH HOUR and SECRET OF THE WHISTLER. All six WHISTLER films presented in




Marvel too at six RARE United Artists noir gems from the 1950s: Jacques Tourneur?s cold-war thriller THE FEARMAKERS starring Dana Andrews; Phil Karlson?s gritty gem 99 RIVER STREET with John Payne and Evelyn Keyes; the freakishly strange NIGHTMARE with Kevin McCarthy and Edward G. Robinson (from a story by Woolrich); Ed McBain?s low-down, rough and sleazy COP HATER with Robert Loggia; SHIELD FOR MURDER directed by and starring noir icon Edmond O?Brien; and Henry Silva in the ultra-violent late-model ?63 Rat Pack noir JOHNNY COOL. ALL PRESENTED IN 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINTS!


Peppered liberally with ultra-rare 16mm B noirs from the hidden vaults and libraries of private collectors!! NONE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON DVD!!



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  • 3 weeks later...

The Roxie Theater website has been updated with a complete schedule for its May film noir festival:


*Friday, May 14*




*Saturday, May 15*




*Sunday, May 16*




*Monday, May 17*




*Tuesday, May 18*




*Wednesday, May 19*




*Thursday, May 20*




*Friday, May 21*




*Saturday, May 22*




*Sunday, May 23*




*Monday, May 24*




*Tuesday, May 25*




*Wednesday, May 26*




*Thursday, May 27*





For more info, go to http://roxie.com

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

The festival seems to have gotten off to a good start. As may have been mentioned before, the program includes quite a few features being shown in 35mm archival studio prints - and with such an appreciative audience, there is certainly no better venue to watch these.


For anyone in the Northern California area, this (and Noir City) are great opportunities to watch some pretty obscure noirs that don't seem to show up anywhere else (not even on TCM).

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There seems to have been some improvement in the sound quality of the 16mm prints being shown at the Roxie's noir festival, which is a great relief given the fact that some of the first ones shown in this year's event suffered from such bad sound that it was often times impossible to make out what the actors were saying.


Fortunately, the festival also includes some pristine 35mm prints of many movies, notably the Whistler films, which were reportedly struck specially for the Roxie and the UC Berkeley engagements.


The contrast between the older 16mm prints and the brand-new 35mm ones may be quite severe, though I believe the majority of fans attending enjoy the chance to watch these movies in any presentation that allows them to savor them in a motion picture theater.


Here's hoping more of these old classics will become available in new 35mm prints in the years ahead, thanks in great part to the interest that festivals such as this one and Noir City always seem to revive.

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There was a sound system problem that occurred last weekend but it was quickly fixed by the early part of the week and was working great this afternoon for *Johnny Cool* and *Cop Hater*

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Actually, I think the problem with the sound system never was an issue with the movies being shown in 35mm. (Both of today's films were pristine 35mm prints). The problem seems to have been with the older 16mm prints. Though as you said, it's more or less fixed now, the sound with the 16mm prints still suffers a bit by comparison with the new 35mm prints.


In any event, it's still a welcome opportunity to catch movies that are not available anywhere else - many of them, not even on TCM, AFAIK.


(Oddly enough, both of today's films had a British rating at the very start, even though, to the best of my knowledge, they're both American films).

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Quite probably one of the most pleasant surprises in this year's festival screened today at the Roxie: Stolen Identity (1953), a sort of low-budget Third Man which greatly benefits from its Vienna locations.


(According to imdb.com, this is actually the English-language version of a German-language film, Abenteuer in Wien, which featured an entirely different cast).


It might just be that I never heard a thing about it before today, but for some strange reason, this dazzling tale of murder, betrayal, and a stolen identity (complete with a U.S. passport) really turned out to be much more engrossing than I could have expected - even with an ending that is a bit on the corny side.


Here's hoping more folks find out about this movie - maybe even the TCM programmers, who might hopefully be able to find if they can get TV rights for it.

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You do realize how cool it is to be living in a city where there is such a thing as a noir festival. Living in the boonies makes festival opportunities scarce.


Raising the question, do films in the noir genre have to take place in a (mostly) urban setting, can there be a rural or suburban take on noir? Are these films by definition city-based, with countryside's as hideouts only, or can the action, the development of the story itself take place in the country?

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Suburban, definitely not. Rural, for sure, there are some. There are some "noir"movies where the action moves from the city to the countryside, as in On Dangerous Ground.


I agree that most of the best film noirs take place in an urban setting. There's something about those shadowy rain-slicked streets...

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I consider Leave Her to Heaven to be a film noir. It's in my Film Noir Encyclopaedia, therefore it must be.


"But seriously", you're right. Leave Her to Heaven is one of the exceptions that prove the rule. It's pretty much all set in the countryside -wilderness even, and it's unmistakeably in colour -very bright colour at that. But I consider Gene Tierney's obsession and possessiveness around Cornel Wilde to be one of the psychological aspects of noir; that is, emotional extremes bordering on psychosis. And there is a murder (or two...).

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I still think the term film noir is up for debate and will be for a long time.


Some people have even argued that *Night and the City* is not a noir because it takes place in Britain.


People say *Strangers on a Train* is not noir simply because it was directed by Hitchcock when it has all the noir elements.

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It's always about definitions, isn't it? Depending on one's definition of "suburban", much of the action in The Big Heat, Double Indemnity and *Kiss Me Deadly* (off the top of my head) happens in the suburbs. Some others that quickly come to mind that take place largely in locales that I do not consider "urban" (though small towns may be included):


*Touch of Evil*


*Gun Crazy*

*Border Incident*


*The Red House*


*Thieves' Highway*

*Key Largo*


Then there are the Westerns, such as Pursued, Silver Lode and Day of the Outlaw, and prison movies.


For my money, "urban" and "femme fatale" are the two most over-emphasized concepts attributed to film noir. Sure, they are common and iconic, but they certainly are not a necessity.

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Thank you ChiO...I couldn't have said it any better. In another thread, I just responded to Arturo who coined a great term necessary in understanding and dissecting this genre of films "noir is in the eye of the beholder". Roadhouse is noir....yet it takes place in a road house seemingly in the middle of no where and the film climaxes in the woods. Just the other day someone asked me if 1*3 Rue Madeleine* qualified as noir. My first reaction was no and more of a spy/suspense film but it was directed by Henry Hathaway who was under contract with Fox at the time and shot *Kiss of Death* that same year....the film feels just as noirish.

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Today seems to be a confessional day for me, in terms of declaring movies I feel I should have seen and haven't. (couple of Robert Mitchum titles on another thread) Never seen *House of Bamboo*! It's even on one of those Noir boxed sets, totally accessible. I 'd better get to it. I've certainly heard a lot about it.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> Today seems to be a confessional day for me, in terms of declaring movies I feel I should have seen and haven't. (couple of Robert Mitchum titles on another thread) Never seen *House of Bamboo*! It's even on one of those Noir boxed sets, totally accessible. I 'd better get to it. I've certainly heard a lot about it.


Add me to the list. I own House of Bamboo on DVD. I bought all the Fox Film Noirs shortly after the new year when Amazon had them for $5.99 -6.99 each. I had it on my DVR from when it premiered on TCM and I watched it in pieces so I too need to give it a thorough screening.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> I tried to rent House of Bamboo at my local movie rental place, only to find they didn't have it.

> I've been bamboozled!


Amazon.com (as well as DeepDiscount.com) has these blowout sales where they sometimes mark down the whole Fox Film Noir (as well as others) library. When I got my copy, I also got some MGM titles that were only $5.99. I get email alerts and will definitely post when another sale arises! (I just purchased two Ty Power box sets that retail for $44.99 and $49.99 for $50 total on Friday - I love those alerts!)

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