January 2017 turned out to be a great month for movie watching with 36 films (quite a lot for me). You can read Part I and Part II of my January movies as well as the films I saw at Noir City 15 (Opening Night, Four-Movie Saturday, and The Community of Film Noir). Here then, is everything else:
Directed by Sebastian Schipper
Produced by Catherine Baikousis and nine others
Written by Sebastian Schipper, Olivia Neergaard-Holm, Elke Frederik Schulz
Music by Nils Frahm
Cinematography by Sturia Brandth Grøvlen
In German and English with English subtitles
Adopt Films DVD – interlibrary loan (2:18)
Anytime you hear someone talking about Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria (2015), I’ll bet it takes less than 20 seconds for them to mention the film’s “gimmick,” which is Schipper’s decision to shoot the 138-minute movie in a single take. I’ll admit it: I’ve presented the film to people this way. I suppose depending upon how you talk to people about it determines how much importance you give to the gimmick. Is it really a gimmick? Or is it a device?
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.
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).
I’m so jet-lagged I’m not even sure of my name (I think it’s Sterling Hayden…), but I did want to offer up a quick post to let you know I’m back home from Noir City 15 (even though it’s still going on) and will be reporting on the festival, the films, the great people I met and more very soon. Stay tuned!
Things will be silent for awhile here at Journeys in Darkness and Light until after I get back from Noir City 15 in San Francisco. Rest assured, I’ll give a full report on the first half of the festival when I return. (Unfortunately I will only be there for half of the entire 10-day event.) I will, however, be Tweeting from Noir City, so be sure to follow me on Twitter @awolverton77. In the meantime, here are the movies I’ve seen the past few days:
Unfortunately there’s not an awful lot to get excited about in January as far as new Blu-ray and DVD releases go, but oddly enough, 2017 does include a mountain of horror releases. (Make of that what you will.) Although the noir and neo-noir releases are criminally low this time out, I do have an alternative for you at the end of this post. (As usual, all items are North America Region A Blu-ray releases unless otherwise specified.)
We’re almost finished with October, which means the horror movies will have their reign for just a bit longer. After that, it will be time for some real scares, true horror, nail-biting paranoia, gut-wrenching (insert your own clichés) goodness: film noir.
November is, of course, Noirvember, a month filled with film noir of all kinds. I don’t know if I’ll be able to match last year’s 30 Films in 30 Days, but I get all giddy just thinking about it. You’d think I’d want a break after Noir City DC, but I’m an addict: I just have to have more film noir.