LIMITED TIME OFFER - THROUGH NOVEMBER 30
To celebrate NOIR CITY: International, our first virtual film festival, the Film Noir Foundation is offering its 2020 NOIR CITY t-shirts for sale online. What's more appropriate for 2020 than a NOIR CITY t-shirt with the tagline "What could possibly go wrong?"
$20 + shipping • Sizes available: S - M - L - XL - XXL
NOIR CITY Austin: TBD
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The Film Noir Foundation will premiere two new restorations at NOIR CITY 18, both little-known 1950s noir gems from Argentine director Román Viñoly Barreto: La bestia debe morir (1952) and El vampiro negro (1953). Both restorations were completed in 2019 by the FNF's preservation partner, UCLA Film & Television Archive, with support provided from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Charitable Trust (The HFPA Trust).
La bestia debe morir is an adaptation of Nicholas Blake's celebrated 1938 novel The Beast Must Die. Blake was actually a pseudonym of Irish poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis. The book was noted for an unusual structure combining a first-person narrative of murderous revenge with a whodunit plot more familiar to fans of Blake's Sherlockian British detective, Nigel Strangeways.
The Argentine film, adapted for the screen by Viñoly Barreto and actor Narciso Ibáñez Menta, relegates Strangeways to a bit part, moving the noir-revenge narrative front and center. Spanish-born Ibáñez Menta was renowned in the '40s and '50s for horror and fantasy films, but in this full-fledged noir he portrays a writer hell-bent on uncovering the identity of the hit-and-run driver who killed his son … and murdering him.
"Until this discovery, most cinephiles believed that Claude Chabrol had made the first adaptation of Blake's novel in 1969," said FNF president Eddie Muller. "But largely thanks to my colleague Fernando Martín Peña, who introduced me to the film, this version of The Beast Must Die will now be recognized as the first—and with all due respect to Chabrol—the best screen version of the novel. It certainly has all the elements of a classic noir, and Viñoly Barreto directs it with great storytelling skill and visual style."
El vampiro negro (The Black Vampire) is an inspired reimagining of Fritz Lang's classic M, transposed from Berlin to Buenos Aires. It was made by essentially the same creative team that made La bestia debe morir a year earlier, including cinematographer Alberto Etchebehere, who not only provides spectacular imagery that may surpass the nocturnal style of Lang's original and the 1951 American remake directed by Joseph Losey—but he co-wrote the script with Viñoly Barreto. Famed actress Olga Zubarry, known as the "Argentine Marilyn Monroe," stars as a cabaret performer whose child is kidnapped by the murderer (Nathán Pinzón) preying on the city's children.
The FNF previously funded a preservation print of El vampiro negro that screened at several NOIR CITY festivals in 2014, but according to Muller, "We realized the film was so unique, and so compelling, it had to be completely restored, including fixes to the damaged original negative."
Both restorations debut opening night of NOIR CITY 18, January 24, as a double bill of lost classics from Argentina.
The restorations of La bestia debe morir and El vampiro negro will be screened nationally as part of the FNF's NOIR CITY film festival programs in 2020, as well as on the international film festival circuit.
Love our film reviews in the NOIR CITY e-magazine? Get your noir-tinged movie and streaming news faster from our NOIR NOW STREAMING area. Contributors include syndicated newspaper columnist Sean Axmaker; the East Bay Express' chief film reviewer Kelly Vance and Nathalie Atkinson, a columnist for The Globe and Mail and the creator and host of the popular film series Designing the Movies.
You can now own your own copy of the FNF funded restoration on Trapped (1949), available from Flicker Alley in a Blu-ray/DVD combo. In Richard Fleischer's 1949 noir, T-Men investigating a flood of phony $20s spring convicted counterfeiter Tris Stewart (Lloyd Bridges) from the joint to use as an undercover operative. But Tris is only stringing the Feds along until he makes a score and scoots to Mexico with his red-hot squeeze, Meg (Barbara Payton). The double- and triple-crosses come fast and furious, as no one's sure who's a crook and who's a copper. A hasty and hard-edged B with exceptional camerawork by DP Guy Roe.
The preservation of this nearly lost classic noir has been accomplished through the long-standing partnership of the FNF and UCLA Film & Television Archive. Additional funding assistance for Trapped was provided through a grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Charitable Trust (The HFPA Trust).
Trapped Blu-Ray/DVD bonus materials include:
✽ "Freeing Trapped" — A documentary on the film's creation and history, featuring interviews with Eddie Muller, Donna Lethal, and others.
✽ "A Sedulous Cinderella: Richard Fleischer Remembered" — A remembrance of the man, the director, and the father, by his son Mark Fleischer.
✽ Audio Commentary Track — Featuring author and FNF board member Alan K. Rode and film historian Julie Kirgo.
✽ 24-Page Souvenir Booklet — Featuring rare photographs, poster art, and commentary by FNF president Eddie Muller.
The Film Noir Foundation is proud to announce the recipient of this year's $5,000 FNF/Nancy Mysel Legacy Grant—Aparna Subramanian of NYU. Ms. Aparna will receive her MA in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation in 2021 from the Department of Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York.
The FNF's charitable grant, funded by the Mysel family in honor of the late film preservationist Nancy Mysel who supervised FNF restorations of The Prowler and Cry Danger, grants funding to students enrolled in film restoration and preservation studies. The 2020 grant announcement was made Saturday night, February 1, at NOIR CITY 18 by festival host Eddie Muller, with a thoughtful video by Ms. Subramanian screened for the San Francisco audience. Details on how to apply for the grant are available here.
The WORLD OF FILM NOIR was created in black and white, but its intrigue and passion was sold worldwide by movie posters -- in vivid color -- that enticed audiences into this sinister and sensual demimonde. Nowhere on earth was the come-on more colorful than in Belgium, where the nation's standardly sized posters (a mere 14" x 22") virtually exploded with the danger and desire at the heart of cinema's most alluring and durable genre. Small posters from a small country--but packed with more lust and larceny than Hollywood would dare.
NOW, EXCLUSIVELY FROM BLACK POOL PRODUCTIONS—Eddie Muller, "The Czar of Noir," presents 24 glorious Belgian cinema posters from his personal collection, reproduced as 5-1/4" x 7" cards, each complete with his terse and tangy commentary highlighting what made these films—and this artwork--so magical and memorable. $20 + tax/shipping at BlackPoolProductions.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.
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Come follow us on Tumblr to indulge your passion for noir! We'll be posting daily, celebrating all things noir with exclusive stills and images you won't see anywhere else, as well as trailers, film clips, and more.
Share our posts with your friends; your love of the art form is the Foundation's biggest asset in its mission to preserve and restore classics of the genre. We are also fully committed to present our rescued films in the way they were meant to be seen: in 35mm at our NOIR CITY festivals around the country.
For a chance to win a copy of the Warner Archive's Blu-ray release of Gun Crazy, donate $20 or more to the FNF between now and November 30. Your name will be entered in a random drawing.
And, for a donation of $50, you have a chance at two Warner Archive's Blu-ray releases — On Dangerous Ground and Out of the Past.
For $20 donations, winners in two random drawings will receive either Warner Archive's Blu-ray release of Gun Crazy or On Dangerous Ground.
For $50 donations, a winner in a random drawing will receive three Warner Archive double feature DVDs -- Act of Violence/Mystery Street, Crime Wave/Decoy and The House Across the Street/Homicide. Don't miss Crime Wave's special feature — a commentary track with James Ellroy and Eddie Muller.
For $75 donations, a winner in a random drawing will receive three Warner Archive features set in San Francisco —Dark Passage (Blu-ray), and DVDs of Hell on Frisco Bay and Race Street, plus Fantagraphics Books' Voodoo Vengeance and other Stories by Johnny Craig (EC Comics).
For $100-$125 donations, a winner in a random drawing will receive Warner Archive's Film Noir Classic Collection (Vol. 5) with 8 thrillers on DVD shot between 1945 and 1955. PLUS, from the FNF's historical collection, an original Cornered magazine ad from 1945.
For $150 donations, a winner in a random drawing will receive Warner Archive's new 4-film Blu-ray release comprising, The Set-Up, Murder, My Sweet, Out of the Past and Gun Crazy, and the feature-length documentary Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light, the Fantagraphics Books' Master Race and other Stories by Bernard Krigstein (EC Comics) – PLUS, from the FNF's historical collection, an original Fallen Angel magazine ad from 1945.
For a shot any of these goods, make your donation to the FNF between now and November 30. Your name will be entered into the random drawings for your donation amount. All winners will be announced by Thursday, December 3, here on the FNF's news page. Your donationa help the FNF locate, restore, and exhibit films that, without our intervention, would be lost forever.
The Film Noir Foundation has launched a monthly live stream on our Facebook page in which Eddie answers questions submitted by our e‑mail subscribers.
→ Subscribe to our mailing list, so you can get your question answered next month.
NOIR CITY International, the FNF's first virtual film festival, is happening November 13-29, 2020. Presented by the Film Noir Foundation in partnership with AFI Silver Theatre, details for the streaming festival (including film schedule, passes, and the purchase of individual films) are available now at afisilver.afi.com.
The Arthur Lyons' Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs has been cancelled for 2020 after initially rescheduling for December 3-6 of this year "due to the challenges of producing the festival during the COVID pandemic". The organizers are hoping to return in May of 2021. Check the Roxie website for further updates.
The 2021 TCM Classic Film Festival will be presented as a virtual experience. Additional dates and details to be announced.
The San Francisco Silent Film Festival "is moving forward with celebrating our 25th anniversary in our regular festival slot—May 5–9, 2021. With a year to plan, and hopefully on the other side of this health crisis, we promise a brilliant celebration!"
Midcentury Productions has announced that their events in Los Angeles and San Francisco will be delayed until next year. "Here is what's likely to occur in San Francisco as soon as it's possible to return. Our Georges Simenon series will be restructured. Our special Jean Gabin event will be revamped and rescheduled. We expect to have several all-day weekend events as well, to preview our approach for the 2021 edition of THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT, which will combine past festival favorites with more unseen rarities from "the lost continent" of French noir."
The death of a mysterious woman, a cynical crime-beat reporter, and a tangle of family secrets and political intrigue form the core of Budapest Noir. The eagerly awaited second feature by award-winning director and editor Eva Gardos is now available for at-home viewing on iTunes, Amazon, Verizon, and more. Our rave review of Budapest Noir initially appeared in the NOIR CITY e-magazine Issue 25 (November 2018) and was reprinted in the NOIR CITY Annual #12 (2020), along with an in-depth interview with Gardos detailing her creative process and inspiration for the film. Budapest Noir is currently available on select cable outlets and has been released on DVD and Blu-ray. For more details, visit the Menemsha Films website.
Following the NOIR CITY Hollywood screening at the Aero Theatre of a sparkling 35mm print of House of Games (1987), FNF president Eddie Muller introduced David Mamet as "America's greatest living storyteller and then made a surprise presentation of the FNF's Modern Noir Master Award. Muller noted the glass award was designed by Samuel Fuller's daughter Samantha which delighted Mamet.
The rollicking interview began with Mamet's discovery of noir, especially West Coast crime writers, and his early film education at Chicago's 24-hour Clark Theater, a legendary "grindhouse." Muller commented on how beyond the visual style of film noir, there's also the language and noted the "Mamet speak" of House of Games and how the language of that film, Glengarry Glen Ross "and so many of the things that you've done, the language reminds me of noir because it has this rhythm and this whole style."
The insightful and acerbic Mamet replied, "To me, the most important thing in noir is not having enough money. The things that got me started with film noir was The Killing (1956) with Sterling Hayden by Kubrick and Kubrick was very much influenced by a previous film called Crime Wave (1953) directed by Andre De Toth which had the same cast as The Killing. Somebody asked De Toth how'd you make such a good movie? And he said, 'because they said 'I'll give you two-hundred grand,' He said, 'I'll do it for a hundred grand. They said I'll give you twenty days. I said 'I'll give it to you in eleven days.' So, he shot it in eleven days. The thing about film noir is you don't have any money which means you don't have any time which means you don't have any time or money to shoot stuff you're not going to use. Right? So, if you're not going to shoot stuff you're not going to use, you'd better think real hard about what you're going to shoot which makes for a great movie. And the other thing is they didn't have any money for special effects so that's why they're shooting on Mulholland Drive and the PCH in the middle of the night."
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NOIR CITY E-MAG
At left, the cover of NOIR CITY® — the Film Noir Foundation's latest e-magazine issue. For access to the best writing on noir available today, and to enjoy one of the most cutting-edge interactive multimedia cinema publications in the world, subscribe to NOIR CITY. Start by adding your name to our mailing list and then making a donation to the FNF of $20 or more. View the Table of Contents for the current issue here.
Keep us posted on noir news and events in your area! Email Anne Hockens, Film Noir Foundation news and events editor.