NOIR CITY 21 - Jan 19-28, 2024 at the Grand Lake Theatre, Oakland, CA

JAN 19-28, 2024 


In a move taken in opposition to the nation's current wave of anti-immigrant sentiment, the venerable NOIR CITY film festival, celebrating its 21st year in the Bay Area, has declared "Darkness Has No Borders." The 10-day festival will feature a dozen thematically linked double bills, pairing foreign language films with movies made in the United States and United Kingdom. The festival runs January 19–28 at Oakland's Grand Lake Theatre.

NOIR CITY honcho and FNF president Eddie Muller, familiar to a national audience as the host of Noir Alley on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), credits preservation efforts by film archives worldwide, and the advent of digital distribution, as the reason "we're now able to recognize the global scope of film noir." At this year's NOIR CITY, he notes, audiences will experience familiar noir tales … but half will be from Argentina, Egypt, France, South Korea, Italy, Mexico, and Japan presented alongside English-language offerings. "Some are cultural one-offs," he explains, "like the 1958 Egyptian offering Cairo Station (shown with the 1950 Paramount thriller Union Station), while others are examples of noir from countries with a dark wellspring of films still waiting to be discovered." The 24-film program of thematically linked double bills includes heists, prison breaks, missing persons, cultural alienation, love triangles, and lots of plain old-fashioned murder.

“This year's NOIR CITY program is tailored to satisfy folks who love noir that's full of the colorful vernacular slang so essential to American and British noir—as well as adventurous viewers intrigued by a familiar story–a crime committed for passion or profit—playing out in cultures with different values, mores, and styles.”
—Eddie Muller

Kicking off the collection of rarities is the FNF's most recent restoration — 1952's Argentine film Never Open That Door (No abras nunca esa puerta) — based on two short stories by American master of suspense fiction, Cornell Woolrich. The picture was preserved by the Film Noir Foundation in 2013 and has now been completely restored by the FNF through UCLA Film & Television Archive, thanks in part to a grant from the Golden Globe Foundation (formerly HFPA). Fernando Martín Peña, Argentina's pre-eminent cinephile, will be on hand to introduce the film with Eddie Muller.

Included on the 2024 schedule are English-language rarities such as Black Tuesday (1954), Plunder Road (1957), Across the Bridge (1957), and Strongroom (1962). Little-seen international titles include The Human Beast (France, 1938), Aimless Bullet (South Korea, 1960), Bitter Rice (Italy, 1949), Four Against the World (Mexico, 1950), Zero Focus (Japan, 1961), and Smog (1962), a forgotten surrealist masterpiece by Italian director Franco Rossi freshly restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive.


Purchase advance tickets through Eventbrite with any of the ticket links in the program guide above. Doors open at 6:00 pm for evening shows; noon for matinées.


NOIR CITY 21 Passport and directions to Grand Lake


Secure your spot for the 10-day/24-film festival with an all-access pass for $200—a $40 savings over the regular ticket price! The Grand Lake Theatre will have a Passholders' queue for early admittance. → MORE INFO HERE

All you need to know about the NOIR CITY Film Festival ↓

Turner Classic Movies

The Walt Disney Family Museum


Nick Rossi

Tiki Oasis

Stark House Press

Alameda Point Antiques Faire

FLAG Marketing

Forbidden Island

TCM Noir Alley

Relic Vintage

Art Deco Society of California

Kino Lorber

Hollywood and the Movies of the Fifties by Foster Hirsch

Film Noir Style - Kimberly Truhler

Fox & Doll

The Criterion Channel

Toscano Brothers

Chester Cordite London

Paul's Hat Works

Amoeba Music

Crimson Kimono - Dan Nishimura

Ikaros Greek Restaurant

Running Press - Noir Bar by Eddie Muller

Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Lang Antique and Estate Jewelry

Dago Bagel

Flicker Alley

Imprint Films - Via Vision Entertainment

Imprint Films - Via Vision Entertainment

Blood on the Moon - Alan K. Rode

Walden Pond Books

Tony's Pizza Napoletana

Giovanni Italian Specialties

Twitter - MySpace - Facebook

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.

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NOIR CITY: Portland: Jul 19-21
Hollywood Theatre, Portland, OR
NOIR CITY: Chicago: Sep 6-12
Music Box Theatre, Chicago, IL
NOIR CITY: Detroit: Sep 20-22
Redford Theatre, Detroit, MI
NOIR CITY: D.C.: Oct 11-24
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center
NOIR CITY: Philadelphia: Nov 15-17
The Colonial Theatre, Phoenixville, PA


No abras nunca esa puerta / Never Open That Door (1952, Argentina) is a significant example of the cross-cultural cinematic legacy shared by the United States and Argentina during the post-WWII era.  Based on a story by legendary American thriller writer Cornell Woolrich (Rear Window, Phantom Lady, The Bride Wore Black) the film is brilliantly directed by Argentinean Carlos Hugo Christensen.  The extraordinary cinematography by Pablo Tabernero equals any classic film noir movie ever made – yet this film remains virtually unknown.

The Film Noir Foundation discovered No abras nunca esa puerta, along with Si muero antes de despertar (If I Should Die Before I Wake), in Buenos Aires years ago, but at the time we could only afford to strike "preservation prints," i.e. copying but not restoring them. It created a sensation when screened at New York's Museum of Modern Art as part of "Death Is My Dance Partner: Film Noir in Postwar Argentina," a critically praised 2016 event that showcased this neglected part of cinema history. Two of the FNF restorations in that series, Los tallos amargos (1956) and El vampiro negro (1953), have gone on to international recognition as rescued classics, with screenings at film festivals around the world, broadcasts on Turner Classic Movies, and released in Blu-ray special editions by Flicker Alley. We expect the same for No abras nunca esa puerta.

The popularity of classic film noir is at an all-time high, and the Film Noir Foundation is dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the genre as an international cinematic movement, not merely an American phenomenon. It is a revelation to experience the work of an "all-American" author, in Spanish, and rendered as well (perhaps better) than any Hollywood adaptation of his work. The restoration will premiere opening night of NOIR CITY 21.

NOIR CITY Annual #15

2023's NOIR CITY Annual 15, the best of the best from the Film Noir Foundation's 2022 NOIR CITY Magazines, is here—essays, profiles, interviews, and appreciations of classic and modern noir films from today's top writers. This year's contributors are Imogen Sara Smith, Jake Hinkson, Ray Banks, Nora Fiore, Brent Calderwood, Lynsey Ford, Bob Sassone,Vince Keenan, Sharon Knolle, Farran Smith Nehme, Steve Kronenberg, Jim Thomsen, John Wranovics, Chris D., Sam Moore, Brian Light, Danilo Castro, Rachel Walther, and Eddie Muller. Book layout and design by Michael Kronenberg. And, as with any purchase from the FNF, when you buy the NOIR CITY Annual 15, you'll be helping fund the non-profit foundation's film restoration efforts. BUY NOW ON AMAZON

NOIR CITY Magazine

NOIR CITY Magazine - Digital Version

For access to the best writing on noir available today, and to enjoy one of the most cutting-edge interactive multimedia cinema publications in the world, subscribe to NOIR CITY Magazine. Start by:

Angie Dickinson - Norman Lloyd - Nancy Olson


Our Video Archives feature an expanding catalog of noir-related video, including exclusive interviews and festival guest appearances.


Francesca RobinsonFNF co-host Alan K. Rode and producer Mark Fleischer introduce The Narrow Margin (1952) at the 2024 NOIR CITY: Hollywood festival at the restored Egyptian Theatre. Fleischer, son of the picture's director Richard Fleischer, reminisced about his accomplished father and grandfather (famed animator Max Fleischer) while discussing the initial film programmed at the Egyptian's First Annual Festival of Film Noir in 1999 as NOIR CITY: Hollywood celebrates its 25th anniversary. WATCH

Angie Dickinson - Norman Lloyd - Nancy Olson


Did you know that the Film Noir Foundation livestreams every two weeks on our Facebook page in which Eddie Muller answers questions submitted by our e­mail subscribers? All past broadcasts are available on YouTube.


NOIR CITY Screenings

→ View our list of films screened at NOIR CITY 1-20 here.

Film Noir Foundation

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NC21 posters: Bill Selby