NOIR CITY: CHICAGO

Poster for Noir City: Chicago August 28-31, 2017

I’ll be co-hosting NOIR CITY CHICAGO from 28-31August. Hope to see you there!


 

ONE WAY STREET

 

The Season of Noir

The late spring and beginning of summer is my favorite time of the year in Southern California.  The roses are in bloom, the temperature in the San Fernando Valley hasn’t yet reached the upper extremes of a pizza oven and the birds sing all day.  It is also the time for cinematic darkness. The annual NOIR CITY, HOLLYWOOD film festival opens this Friday for its 18th season at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.  It is difficult for me to believe that I’ve been attending this festival since a screaming Lawrence Tierney was 86ed from the theater lobby. I’ve also been the co-programmer and co-host with my inspired comrade in noir, Eddie Muller.  With the American Cinematheque’s stellar programmer Gwen DeGlise, we have put together some memorable programs during the past decade, but perhaps none better than this year’s fest that opens on Friday April 15.

In addition to opening the festival with the Film Noir Foundation and Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s (HFPA) funded restoration of LOS TALLOS AMARGOS (THE BITTER STEMS), 1956 by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, our good friends at Universal Studios have struck new 35mm prints of cinematic treasures including ALL MY SONS (1948), FLESH AND FURY (1951), FLESH AND FANTASY (1943)  and MEET DANNY WILSON (1952) that haven’t been viewed on a theater screen for decades and are not on DVD.  The extraordinary festival line-up can be found on the American Cinematheque website

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A Few Thoughts on NAPOLEON

Napoleon Program Cover Blog

The presentation of Abel Gance’s NAPOLEON this Saturday at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California, dwarfs any previous experience that I’ve ever had in a movie theatre.  I have never seen a film of such epic scale with the most amazing attention to authentic historical detail within a beautifully characterized story of a man destined to change the world.  NAPOLEON is truly a masterpiece in every sense of the word.

Words are inadequate to describe my pure joy of taking in five and half hours of a restored classic that the great Kevin Brownlow spent much of his professional life restoring.  Kevin is an incredibly gifted, humble man whose lifework is to share his appreciation of silent films with the rest of the world.

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Rose & Joan: Rest in Peace

I was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Rose Freeman aka Joan Taylor who was a featured actress in movies and television from 1949 until her retirement in 1963. Rose was a special lady and we had a rather unusual relationship that began over five years ago.

I was wrapping up my Charles McGraw biography manuscript but wanted to learn more about one of his movies, Warpaint, an interesting Western that he appeared in 1952 after leaving the contractual confines of RKO studios.

Rose, or I should say Joan, played an Indian woman who helped make life extremely difficult for a thirst-crazed Army cavalry detachment led by Robert Stack and a pipe-smoking McGraw with Peter Graves, Robert J. Wilke, Walter Reed, Douglas Kennedy, and Paul Richards lending able support.

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DVDs