Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Down these dark streets

I’ve decided that what this town—Athens, GA—needs is a good film noir festival. I am green with envy reading about celebrations of the uniquely American film style in cities across this nation—case in point, this mention at Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings of a series that’s underway at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in southern California on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

I received an e-mail the other day from the Film Noir Foundation trumpeting the tenth anniversary of the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival, which gets underway beginning May 13 at the Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs, CA. Silver screen institution Ernest Borgnine (the man is 93—why isn’t he hosting Saturday Night Live?) kicks off the fest with a personal appearance at a showing of Pay or Die (1960), and the guest list also includes June Lockhart, Ann Robinson and Tommy Cook. Julie Garfield—daughter of TDOY idol John Garfield—will be on hand for a showing of her old man’s He Ran All the Way (1951), and there’ll also be appearances from the usual suspects: Foster Hirsch, Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode—who will host and produce the event.

Kirk Douglas has filmed an introduction to one of the festival’s films, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), and other movies to be shown include The Glass Wall (1953), 711 Ocean Drive (1950) and Cry of the City (1948). Two noir novelties, Pitfall (1948) and the ultra-rare (and recently found) New York Confidential (1955) promise to be the highlights of the celebration that runs till May 16th. (I haven’t seen Confidential but I have glimpsed Pitfall—in fact, it’s currently gathering dust somewhere in my father’s storage facility…I need to liberate it one of these days.)

The entire skinny on the festival can be found here. Wish I could be there!

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