For those who tire easily of eggnog, pie, caroling and holiday cheer, there is always a bit of "Noir" to help release the stress; Film Noir, that is, will have a prelude on Dec. 19 at San Francisco's Castro Theater to usher in the Noir City Film Festival
in January. This will be the third year for the prelude which has been a hit and is a great way to celebrate the holiday season when Christmas spirit and family ties are on over-kill. Noir City organizer Eddie Muller is thrilled that the "mini-film fests" are popular and helps garner more audiences to join in the Noir City gathering.
"Our Yule double bill pairs the über-unusual," said Anne Hockens, director of communications for the film festival and The Film Noir Foundation. For the bargain price of $10.00 audiences get to see a double feature - 'The Lady in the Lake' (1947), a subjective camera adaption of Raymond Chandler's novel, set during the holidays, and the sweet-tart 'Holiday Affair' (1949) with noir icon Robert Mitchum hot on the trail of nubile Janet Leigh. The evening will also feature the unveiling of the full schedule for NOIR CITY 11.
"Audrey Totter is my favorite actress," said Noir City fan Jenifer Strickland. "In fact, I recently wrote to her and she sent me an autographed photo," said Strickland. "She's 93 and living in the Motion Picture Home in Los Angeles."
Strickland and fellow fan Morgan Von Rueden have been avid fans of film noir for years and they have been attending the Noir City festival at The Castro Theater almost since it began over a decade ago.
"'Lady in the Lake' is a very unusual film, added Strickland, and Audrey Totter is absolutely wonderful in it. It will be exciting to see it on the big screen."
"I have not seen 'Holiday Affair' but I do enjoy Robert Mitchum's work and I'm looking forward to seeing something new," Strickland said. "I'm also very excited to find out what the schedule for Noir City will be."
Defying all the latest media death-knells regarding repertory cinema and 35mm, noted Hockens, "the next NOIR CITY, coming to the Castro January 25-February 3, 2013, will present it's most expansive schedule yet, 27 films," she said. (She confirmed it is 27 films and not 29 as previously said in other news releases.) And, that includes three brand new 35mm restorations funded by the Film Noir Foundation which seeks to preserve films in danger of being lost or irreparably damaged, and to ensure that high quality prints of these classic films remain in circulation for theatrical exhibition to future generations.
Tickets for the Noir City Christmas film festival prelude went on sale Dec. 1. Hockens and Muller hope to fill the theater and draw in more fans to the noir genre. Tickets can be purchased on line or at the Castro Theater box office.
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