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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fade to Black

Noir City, the 6th Annual San Francisco Film Noir Festival, starts this Friday.

I really didn't know much about film noir until I came under the tutelage of The Boy. For such an irrespressibly cheery fellow, he certainly loves these dark, gritty tales of tough guys and tougher dames.

As always, watching these films as they were intended to be seen, in a rare classic movie house--The Castro Theatre--sitting amongst hundreds of avid film buffs, makes events such as this and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival a huge treat.

I'm reviewing the program schedule to find the films I most want to see. I'm not that much of a diehard noir enthusiast that I will miss a milonga or a class, but there are several movies that are on my list.

One film I own on DVD but would love to see big and bold on the screen is Gun Grazy. This B-movie is a cult classic, and the over-the-top dramatics of the femme fatale, played by Peggy Cummins, will stay in your mind for a long time. A while back I found this great super-condensed version of Gun Crazy, which captures a lot of the spirit of the film in a mere couple of minutes.

Bart: "We go together, Annie. I don't know why. Maybe like guns and ammunition go together."

Gun Crazy from LadyRebecca on Vimeo.

PS. Two other movies on the festival roster that I highly, highly recommend besides Gun Crazy are the original D.O.A. (which has great footage of San Francisco in the 50s) and Jules Dassin's gripping noir, Night and the City, starring Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney. And speaking of Jules Dassin, my all-time favorite movie of his is Rififi, the jewel heist movie that was the mother of them all. If you can't make it to the festival, all of the above-mentioned movies are on DVD.