Thursday, February 2, 2023

Noir City Festival: 15th Anniversary Edition at SIFF Cinema: Feb 10 - 16

Returning after a multi-year hiatus due to the conditions of the pandemic, Eddie Muller and the Film Noir Foundation were reinstated at Seattle's historic Egyptian Theatre last year with a substantial Noir City program inspired by his bestselling book "Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir". Reprinted in a newly expanded edition, Muller spoke at-length about his book with NPR's Terry Gross, plumbing the genre's "Celebration of Cinema's Double Crosses and Doomed Characters", that populate "The Lost World of Film Noir". The previous edition of the festival Noir City: International Edition II, some two years before, continued the programming last seen in the first of the Noir City: International Editions, with geographically framed sets and quartets of films originating from far flung corners of the world. Earlier editions such as the Noir City: Film Noir in The 1950s program which tracked 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. Other iterations have been formatted in a Film Noir from A to B presentation involving "A" and "B" film double bills, in both low budget and high production value features. On other occasions, the program has been focused thematically, such as the year that featured Noir City: The Big Knockover - Heists, Holdups and Schemes Gone Awry. Outside of the annual Noir City Festival, this decade inaugurated Muller's new permanent residence on TCM with the launch of his Saturday night Noir Alley showcase. Muller and his show have become a central component of how "Turner Classic Movies Is Changing. And Trying to Stay the Same." His weekly selections and introductions act as more than just a showcase for the Film Noir Foundation and their partners at The UCLA Film & Television Archive, but instead a global overview of the social concerns, look, sound, aesthetic, and feel that define the Dark Passages of film noir. This year's Noir City program follows suit with a lineup of 18 films from the very heart of Hollywood's noir movement, the year 1948. Spanning classics, rarities, A-list films and solid B-movies, all of the films in the lineup will be celebrating their 75th anniversary, with entries from Nicholas Ray, John Huston, Orson Welles, Preston Sturges, Anthony Mann, Robert Siodmak, Henry Hathaway, Douglas Sirk, John Farrow, Irving Reis, and Jules Dassin, among others.