Noir City 15 Part III: The Community of Film Noir

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When first looking over the Noir City schedule, you might come away disappointed, not in the selection of titles, but in the number of films shown per day. With the exception of Saturdays, Noir City features two films a day, generally showing around 7:15pm and 9:00pm or thereabout. (The two Sunday films are repeated later in the day.) But remember, you’re in San Francisco, one of the most fascinating cities on the planet, so go explore it! In the two years I’ve attended Noir City, I have also gone on a wine tour, an “Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco” walking tour, visited the Museum of Modern Art, Alcatraz, a Japanese garden, John’s Grill, ran a 5K, spent time in Chinatown, and much more.

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Noir City 15 Part II: Four Movie Saturday

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One of the greatest pleasures of any film festival comes from meeting other movie lovers and talking with them. That was certainly the case with me this year, meeting several great people that I’ll get to later. Yet oddly enough, I met a fellow noir fan at Noir City who lives practically in my backyard. Haggai – who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, about a 45-minute drive from my house – has been coming to Noir City in San Francisco since 2007. He certainly knows the Noir City ropes as well as his films and I had a great time meeting and talking with him. He invited me to join him for Saturday’s opening movie, Phil Karlson’s Kansas City Confidential (1952).

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Film Noir Holiday Gift Guide

I’ve seen a lot of great gift guides floating around lately. Two in particular are excellent for the lover of classic film: first the Classic Movie Gift Guide from The Blonde at the Film and then the 2016 Classic Film Holiday Gift Guide from Out of the Past. Both of these excellent gift guides inspired me to create my own, one dedicated solely to film noir. Now understand that as much as I love film noir, I am not an expert. I am still in the infancy stages of learning about film noir, so my suggestions are far from comprehensive. Yet I hope they will be helpful.

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Noir City DC 2016 – Part V: The Narrow Margin (1952) Richard Fleischer

Two clarifications are in order. First, when reporting the events of Noir City DC 2016, I want to give you a taste of Eddie Muller’s film introductions that is as accurate as possible while providing some thoughts of my own. I’ll try to make it clear when I am quoting or paraphrasing what Muller said. My opinions will hopefully be read only as my opinions; I’m not trying to put words in Muller’s mouth. (When in doubt, listen to Muller, not me!)

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Second, last Sunday marked the fourth time I’ve seen The Narrow Margin in 20 months. I am still not tired of it and could watch it again right now. If you’ve never seen it, I hope Muller’s thoughts on the film (and maybe even mine) will convince you to seek it out.

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Noir City DC 2016 – Part IV: Specter of the Rose (1946) Ben Hecht

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Sunday was my final day at Noir City DC 2016 and the final day that Eddie Muller would be on hand to introduce films. The viewing day began with a film I’d never seen, Specter of the Rose (1946), written, produced and directed by Ben Hecht. Hecht’s work is now legendary, but at the time he was a newspaper man writing for the Chicago Tribune. Screenwriter/director/producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz urged Hecht to write screenplays for Hollywood, telling him, “There’s millions to be grabbed out here and your only competition are idiots!”

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Noir City DC 2016 – Part III

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Eddie Muller made his first Noir City DC 2016 introduction on Friday night by focusing on the larger scope of this year’s festival: the Art of Darkness, a theme that explores not just the arts in film noir, but more importantly the loneliness and isolation of being an artist, the terrors of collaboration, the darkness of the creative soul. Good stuff. Although Muller noted that some of the 23 films shown at Noir City DC are straight-up noir movies that have little or nothing to do with the arts, The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) certainly does. (Most of what you’ll read here are paraphrases of Muller’s comments, some of which I couldn’t take down fast enough.)

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