The Film Noir Foundation Presents
The 18th Annual San Francisco Film Noir Festival
America doesn't have a monopoly on swaggering gangsters, larcenous lovers, surly ex-cons, corrupt cops, and scheming femmes fatales. Six years after the first NOIR CITY: INTERNATIONAL—the Film Noir Foundation is at it again: presenting an array of classic films from around the globe, a wide-ranging, thematically cohesive immersion in a sordid world of sinister and sexy affairs—including the world premieres of two new restorations by the Film Noir Foundation! Yes, "It's a Bitter Little World"— but for ten days and nights at the majestic Castro Theatre, NOIR CITY is cinema paradiso! As always, the festival is programmed and hosted by Eddie Muller, internationally renowned "Czar of Noir" and host of the popular Turner Classic Movies series Noir Alley.
For veteran cinephiles, it's a chance to again experience cherished cinematic masterpieces in a bona fide movie palace. For those just starting their cinematic journey, NOIR CITY is the perfect introduction to a wide world of international filmmakers and stars, on the big screen, larger than life. The 10-day excursion travels through hot-blooded nightclubs of the Mexican cabareteras, neon-streaked alleys of Japanese yakuza thrillers, the stylish Parisian underworld, Italian palazzos hiding crimes of every social strata, a Kafkaesque Prague as envisioned by the Czech New Wave — even a rare serial killer film set in Nazi Germany made by Hollywood's finest director of film noir, Robert Siodmak. Tour guides include some of the world's most revered filmmakers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Andzrej Wajda, Julien Duvivier, Jean-Pierre Melville, Roberto Gavaldón, Jirí Weiss, and Masahiro Shinoda.
Secure your spot for all the fun with an all-access NOIR CITY 18 PASSPORT for $125 — now on sale! This all-access festival pass grants the bearer:
✽ Entry to all films during NOIR CITY 18
✽ Separate passport holders' queue for early admittance to the theater for all shows
✽ Opening night passholders' reception (Castro Theatre mezzanine) beginning at 6 pm on Jan. 24
Proceeds from the NOIR CITY festival help fund the FNF's restoration and preservation efforts year-round. This is your chance to have a smashing time AND preserve a valuable art form. The perfect holiday gift for the film lover in your family! → PURCHASE HERE
Passports are non-transferable. All sales are final. Patrons MUST arrive 20 minutes before showtime to be guaranteed a seat!
If you're an out-of-towner looking for lodging near the Castro Theatre, our friends at Beck's Motor Lodge offer discounted room rates for festival guests during NOIR CITY 18. Beginning January 23 through Februaary 2, 2020, you can get a room with a Queen bed for $169 plus tax per night, and for a room with 2 beds the cost is $189 plus tax per night.
Located at 2222 Market near the intersection of 15th and Sanchez, Beck's Motor Lodge is walking distance to the Castro Theatre. The exterior of the iconic mid-century motel (built in 1958) hasn't changed much over the years, but the rooms have been totally refurbished with new furniture and bathrooms, 32" flat screen televisions, refrigerators, and coffee makers. Parking is still free, as is access to Wi-Fi.
Surround yourself in a miasma of social media darkness: join us on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter for a complete immersion in the world of film noir through film stills, posters, film clips, brilliant insights, and more. Maybe you'll meet a dangerous stranger along the way.
UPCOMING NOIR CITY DATES
NOIR CITY 18 (San Francisco): Jan 24-Feb 2, 2020
NOIR CITY: Seattle: Feb 14-20, 2020
NOIR CITY: Hollywood: Mar 6-15, 2020
NOIR CITY: Austin: May 15-17, 2020
NOIR CITY: Boston: Jun 12-14, 2020
NOIR CITY: Chicago: dates TBD
NOIR CITY: Detroit: Sep 18-20, 2020
NOIR CITY: D.C.: dates TBD
FNF DEBUTS TWO ARGENTINE RESTORATIONS
The Film Noir Foundation will premiere two new restorations at NOIR CITY 18, both little-known 1950s noir gems from Argentine director Román Viñoly Barreto: La bestia debe morir (1952) and El vampiro negro (1953). Both restorations were completed in 2019 by the FNF's preservation partner, UCLA Film & Television Archive, with support provided from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Charitable Trust (The HFPA Trust).
La bestia debe morir is an adaptation of Nicholas Blake's celebrated 1938 novel The Beast Must Die. Blake was actually a pseudonym of Irish poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis. The book was noted for an unusual structure combining a first-person narrative of murderous revenge with a whodunit plot more familiar to fans of Blake's Sherlockian British detective, Nigel Strangeways. The Argentine film, adapted for the screen by Viñoly Barreto and actor Narciso Ibáñez Menta, relegates Strangeways to a bit part, moving the noir-revenge narrative front and center. Spanish-born Ibáñez Menta was renowned in the '40s and '50s for horror and fantasy films, but in this full-fledged noir he portrays a writer hell-bent on uncovering the identity of the hit-and-run driver who killed his son … and murdering him.
"Until this discovery, most cinephiles believed that Claude Chabrol had made the first adaptation of Blake's novel in 1969," said FNF president Eddie Muller. "But largely thanks to my colleague Fernando Martín Peña, who introduced me to the film, this version of The Beast Must Die will now be recognized as the first—and with all due respect to Chabrol—the best screen version of the novel. It certainly has all the elements of a classic noir, and Viñoly Barreto directs it with great storytelling skill and visual style."
El vampiro negro (The Black Vampire) is an inspired reimagining of Fritz Lang's classic M, transposed from Berlin to Buenos Aires. It was made by essentially the same creative team that made La bestia debe morir a year earlier, including cinematographer Alberto Etchebehere, who not only provides spectacular imagery that may surpass the nocturnal style of Lang's original and the 1951 American remake directed by Joseph Losey—but he co-wrote the script with Viñoly Barreto. Famed actress Olga Zubarry, known as the "Argentine Marilyn Monroe," stars as a cabaret performer whose child is kidnapped by the murderer (Nathán Pinzón) preying on the city's children.
The FNF previously funded a preservation print of El vampiro negro that screened at several NOIR CITY festivals in 2014, but according to Muller, "We realized the film was so unique, and so compelling, it had to be completely restored, including fixes to the damaged original negative."
Both restorations debut opening night of NOIR CITY 18, January 24, as a double bill of lost classics from Argentina.
The restorations of La bestia debe morir and El vampiro negro will be screened nationally as part of the FNF's NOIR CITY film festival programs in 2020, as well as on the international film festival circuit.
Last year's FNF restoration, 1949's Trapped, has just been released on Blu-ray/DVD through the FNF's partnership with Flicker Alley, which to date has distributed its restored versions of Woman on the Run (1950), Too Late for Tears (1949), and The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950). Other titles in the Blu-ray pipeline include restorations of Repeat Performance (1947) and the Argentine noir Los tallos amargos / The Bitter Stems (1956).
NOIR CITY patrons and FNF donors have made it possible over the years for the FNF to restore those titles in addition to Cry Danger (1951), The Prowler (1951), Try and Get Me! (1951), High Tide (1947), and The Guilty (1947), as well as funding our many 35mm preservations. DONATE HERE and be a film noir savior.
Support the Film Noir Foundation and enjoy the best writing on noir available today! Subscribe to NOIR CITY® , our cutting-edge interactive multimedia e-magazine — delivered quarterly to your in-box. To receive your NOIR CITY e-magazine:
NOIR CITY Annual #11
2019's NOIR CITY Annual 11, the best of the best from the Film Noir Foundation's 2018 quarterly NOIR CITY e-magazines, is an essential addition to any film lover's library—essays, interviews, profiles, tributes, and reviews of classic and modern noir films from today's top writers -- including Imogen Sara Smith, Jake Hinkson, Ray Banks, Vince Keenan, Alan K. Rode, Steve Kronenberg, Gary Deane, Nathalie Atkinson, Ehsan Khoshbakht, Monica Nolan, Ben Terrall, and Eddie Muller. Book layout and design by Michael Kronenberg. And, as with any purchase from the FNF, when you buy NOIR CITY Annual 11, you'll be helping fund the non-profit foundation's film restoration efforts.
EXTRA! EXTRA! Get Your Noir News Here!
For the latest in noir news from small screen to big screen and beyond, visit our news area. We'll keep you updated on Film Noir Foundation projects and events, film festivals and noir-related happenings in other mediums on our news page, as well as noir and neo-noir titles released on DVD and Blu-ray. Our NOW PLAYING section will keep you up-to-date on noir-tinged entertainment in theatrical release or streaming. Check our monthly tv listings for noir and neo-noir films coming up on Turner Classic Movies.
FNF VIDEO ARCHIVES
Our Video Archives feature an expanding catalog of noir-related video, ranging from exclusive interviews, to festival guest appearances, to short films inspired by film noir.
LATEST ADD Tippi Hedren's November 2016 book signing at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica included a discussion with writer Alan K. Rode before a screening of The Birds (1963). The still-stunning actress and animal activist discussed her screen career, her relationship with director Alfred Hitchcock and her long time stewardship of the Roar Foundation in support of the Shambala Preserve, a Los Angeles County sanctuary for wild felines. WATCH
→ View our list of films screened at NOIR CITY 1-17 here.
Copyright © 2020. Website design: Ted Whipple/Incite Design; NC 18 poster: Photo-illustration by Bill Selby | Photography by Jason Mitchell | Model: Victoria Mature