It’s such a simple idea, yet it’s a stroke of genius: pair up an “A” picture from the classic film noir era (1941 to 1953 in this case) with a “B” picture for an unbeatable noir double feature for each day of Noir City 16 at San Francisco’s historic Castro Theatre Jan. 26-Feb. 4, 2018. At last night’s Noir City Christmas at the Castro Theatre, which featured a double feature of Manhandled (1949) and Alias Boston Blackie (1942), Eddie Muller unveiled the full Noir City 16 schedule, which you can find here.
Although I was not one of them, some film noir purists decried the fact that the 2017 line-up themed “The Big Knockover” included films released decades after the classic film noir era, with one movie (the German single-take film Victoria) as current as 2015. The 2018 schedule should keep everyone happy, those who love the bigger-budged “A” pictures and also fans of the cash-strapped “B” gems. You just can’t lose with this line-up.
There’s even more good news for film purists: 23 of the 24 films shown at the festival will be presented from 35mm prints. Several of these films are not available on DVD so the only way you can see them is to either hope they’ll appear on TCM someday or come to Noir City 16. Trust me: save yourself some grief and just purchase a passport for Noir City 16 today.
Noir City 16 will also feature the Film Noir Foundation’s newest restoration project, The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) starring Lee J. Cobb and Jane Wyatt.
Fans of director Michael Curtiz will not want to miss a chance to meet author and film historian Alan K. Rode, who will be signing copies of his new book Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film.
Plus San Francisco photographer Fred Lyon will be on hand to sign copies of his book San Francisco Noir.
If you’ve thought about attending Noir City in the past, I urge you to go. (You can find out everything you need to know about the festival here.) I’ve written and spoken many times about the wonderful atmosphere, the great people, and of course the outstanding films. If you’ve been to one of the other Noir City festivals in other cities (which are wonderful), you’ve experienced just a taste of the San Francisco festival. If you’re there, maybe I’ll see you!
Photos: Noir City, The University Press of Kentucky, Princeton Architectural Press