Sunday, February 3, 2019

Noir City Festival: Film Noir in The 1950s at SIFF Cinema: Feb 15 - 21

Eddie Muller and the Film Noir Foundation are back in Seattle following last year's iteration, in which the Noir City: Film Noir from A to B presented 9 "A" and "B" double bills, spanning the breadth of the original Film Noir era, 1941 to 1953. Now back in it's third consecutive year after the brief hiatus in 2015, following Noir City: The Big Knockover - Heists, Holdups and Schemes Gone Awry and the festival's return to the city in 2016. 2017 was a notable year for The Film Noir Foundation, as Muller took up permanent residence on TCM with a new programming franchise hosted by the Czar of Noir with the launch of his Sunday morning Noir Alley showcase. This year's program, Noir City: Film Noir in The 1950s, centers around the genre's second decade. Through the 20 films on offer, Muller tracks noir through the beginning of the decline of the American studio system, and into a fresh cinematic landscape where the genre was to be refashioned, both subtly and radically, for a new generation. As is annually the case, much of the offerings in this year's Noir City will be screened on celluloid. These bold 35mm prints courtesy of their ongoing collaborative efforts with The UCLA Film & Television Archive. The work of UCLA's Preservation Society and their annual touring Festival of Preservation consistently offers one of the country's most, "Fascinating Windows into Our Cinematic Past". The archive featuring prominently in the LA Weekly's discussion of the expansive shift to digital distribution and projection nationwide, "Movie Studios are Forcing Hollywood to Abandon 35mm Film. But the Consequences of Going Digital are Vast, and Troubling". This year's highlights include a new restoration of Richard Fleischer's "Trapped", one of the numerous showcases for Barbara Stanwyk's range in Robert Siodmak's "The File on Thelma Jordon", genre master Jacques Tourneur's "Nightfall", and noir mainstay William Dieterle's "The Turning Point". The programming also features some of the late studio era big name directors in Otto Preminger's "Angel Face", Michael Curtiz' "The Scarlet Hour", William Wyler's "Detective Story", and Robert Wise' "Odds Against Tomorrow". A trio of American auteurs are also represented in a early and late period Samuel Fuller double feature, "Pickup on South Street" and "The Crimson Kimono", a fledgling Stanley Kubrick and his "Killer's Kiss", and Orson Welles later, legendary film, "Touch of Evil".