The Endless Night: A Valentine To Film Noir

TheBigCombo

 

Film Noir is easily one of my favourite genres. The video below – discovered by famed Noir expert Eddie Muller – is possibly one of the best encapsulations of its aesthetics, its themes and its entertainment value. Apparently after finding this on YouTube, Muller invited its creator (20 year old Serena Bramble) to show it on the big screen in front of his Noir City film festival double features. This year’s festival (held in San Francisco and in its eighth year) began on January 22nd and Maya at The Evening Class will likely be covering much of it until it ends on the 31st. Thanks to him for initially posting this video.

So enjoy the shadows, the gorgeous dames, the tortured souls and all those venetian blinds…

 

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Jandy Hardesty
Admin

That was great, Bob! Really nice find. I can't imagine the amount of time and GBs of hard drive space that went into that. Heh. What's the one with the slide at 1:23, do you know?

Some friends and I are doing film noir at movie nights (one friend is a film scholar, the others like film but don't know much film history), and it's been great. We did Double Indemnity first, as a glossy, high-budget noir, then Detour as a non-glossy, low-budget one. And last week we watched both The Big Heat and The Narrow Margin; I hadn't seen the latter one before, and really, really enjoyed it. Somehow I'm far more able to enjoy mid-level 1940s and '50s B movies than I am the decent-to-average films made today – maybe because they're so unassuming and don't try to be more than they are. Anyway. The Big Heat was more WOW to me this time than the first time I saw it. It's really tight, isn't it? And I'd forgotten how shocking it is when the car blows up.

Kurt
Guest

I had the distinct pleasure of attending Noir City 2007 with Mr. Guillen (as gracious a host as there ever was) in the lovely Castro theatre, and the films were great. It will always stick in my mind as a mirror of San Francisco. (As a bonus, the district at the time was mocked up for Gus Van Sant's MILK, so it had this surreal 1970s thing going for it too.

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

You know, I'm glad to hear you say that about Lady from Shanghai. I have seen it a couple of times (obviously not enough to remember the slide, though I do remember the hall of mirrors vividly), but it's never really impressed me the way I want it to. I keep thinking one day it'll click, but huh. Maybe not.

I actually wrote about Detour here soon after that rewatch, but I think the entry got lost in the year-end/holiday prep shuffle. It's probably one of the most noirish noirs ever made.

And yeah, we're both well aware of our mutual affection for Gloria Grahame, huh? So great, every time.

David Brook
Admin

That was great, beautifully cut. I'm a big noir fan myself, although I've not seen as many as I should, they're not always so well released over here. I'll have to check out Detour, sounds good.

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