Next Stop: Noir City

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I’ll be headed to Noir City soon, so the blog will be on hiatus until I get back. While I won’t be posting here during the festival, I will be tweeting as much as I can, so please follow me @awolverton77 on Twitter. In the meantime, please feel free to check out my posts from last year’s Noir City 16. Stay tuned!

Noir City 16: Day 3, 1944 – Destiny and Flesh and Fantasy

Destiny

The films on Sunday’s double feature share an odd history. Destiny was originally intended to be the first installment of an anthology film (also known as omnibus or package films) called For All We Know (eventually retitled Flesh and Fantasy), directed by Julien Duvivier. Duvivier, a major figure in French cinema, had previously made an anthology film in 1942 called Tales of Manhattan starring Charles Boyer. That film contained six episodes* involving a cursed black formal tailcoat and how it affects the people who wear it.

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Noir City 16: Day 1, 1941 – I Wake Up Screaming and Among the Living

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Noir City. You might expect darkened back alleys, shadowy figures moving furtively through rain-soaked city streets, the sounds of taxis blaring, police sirens, maybe even gunfire. Instead, on the mezzanine level of the Castro Theatre, you find well-dressed men and women sipping champagne, drinking highballs, talking about John Garfield, Gloria Grahame, Michael Curtiz, John Alton, Raymond Chandler. You also find another area filled with tables displaying hardboiled fiction, detective stories and neo-noir novels, as well as non-fiction works on everything from San Francisco movie locations to tomes on the history of film noir. Between these two areas stands a short man with a face showing the wear of three lifetimes; a bouncer, if you will, checking to make sure only passport-holders (Noir City’s ticket to all movies and festival events) cross from the book tables to the land of fedoras and padded shoulders. The bouncer must’ve recognized me from years past; he gives me a slight nod and I’m in.

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Noir City 16: Introduction

Intro

You know you’ve got it bad when you find yourself standing outside the Castro Theatre, home of Noir City 16, six hours before the festival’s opening. If you’ve ever attended even one screening at any Noir City festival, you understand how easily someone can fall under the Noir City spell. That spell is strengthened by the attendees wearing 1940s and 50s outfits, the regal ambience of the Castro Theatre itself, and certainly the films. Yet at 1:30pm on the first day of Noir City, those things were only hinted at as I looked up at the marquee. Still, I felt like Walter Neff standing outside Phillis Dietrichson’s house; it was only a matter of time.

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