Friday, March 21, 2014

A Visit to the 16th Annual Noir City Film Festival

Tonight marked the fifth year in a row I've had the good fortune to attend the Noir City Film Festival, and it was the fourth consecutive year I've been there on opening night.

Prior to the screenings my husband and I strolled over to Larry Edmunds Bookshop and spent some time browsing. This store is a must visit for anyone in the area who loves classic films.

This shot, taken on Las Palmas Avenue, features locations seen in not one but two great film noir titles. Miceli's restaurant is a location in NIGHTFALL (1957), which I'll be seeing at the festival on April 4th, and the church can be glimpsed in GUN CRAZY (1950).

The Pig 'N Whistle next door to the Egyptian Theatre is a favorite spot for Noir City attendees to eat dinner. While eating there tonight we spotted the Film Noir Foundation's Eddie Muller at one table and blogger Ariel Schudson at another. Ariel, an archivist who was recently honored by Film Noir Foundation, will be working with the Foundation on a future restoration project.

We later enjoyed a chance to chat with Eddie for a few minutes. His three-year contract with Turner Classic Movies begins this month, but he did not yet have information to share about his new role with TCM. He'll once again be introducing some of the films at this year's TCM Classic Film Festival.

The Film Noir Foundation's Alan K. Rode is hard at work on his forthcoming biography of director Michael Curtiz. That's a book I'm really looking forward to reading once it's published.

The opening night double bill was a tribute to the late, great Dan Duryea, featuring the recently restored TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949) along with LARCENY (1948). TOO LATE FOR TEARS also starred Lizabeth Scott, Arthur Kennedy, and Don DeFore, while LARCENY costars John Payne, Joan Caulfield, and Shelley Winters.

Dan Duryea's son Richard, Richard's son and other family members were present for the screening. Prior to the movies Richard shared some remarks he'd jotted down, chiefly about how different his father was from his brutal film characters. Richard described his father as a homebody who loved to tinker around the house and especially loved gardening. Richard particularly had fond memories of his father's rose garden at their longtime home. He also described interesting guests occasionally coming to dinner, such as Rod Serling.

Richard and his brother weren't allowed to see their dad's films as children, which is certainly understandable; it could have been very confusing for young boys to see their dad shooting people and smacking women around! Tonight was Richard's very first time to see both TOO LATE FOR TEARS and LARCENY, and it was quite special to enjoy some really great Duryea moments knowing he was also watching.

The Noir City Festival runs through April 6th. As always, this introductory post to the Noir City Festival will be updated throughout the festival with review links for all films seen in the festival. As the saying goes, watch this space!

New reviews of films seen for the first time at the 2014 Noir City Film Festival: TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949); IVY (1947); ROADBLOCK (1951); ALIAS NICK BEAL (1949); HARDLY A CRIMINAL (1949); ONE WAY STREET (1950); M (1951); THE HITCH-HIKER (1953).

Previously reviewed films seen at this year's festival: LARCENY (1948); BORN TO BE BAD (1950); SOUTHSIDE 1-1000 (1950); TENSION (1949); NIGHTFALL (1957).

Posts on past Noir City Festivals which contain review links for all films seen each year: A Visit to the 15th Annual Noir City Film Festival (2013); A Visit to the 14th Annual Noir City Film Festival (2012); A Visit to the 13th Noir City Film Festival (2011); A Visit to the Noir City Film Festival (2010).


Blogger Jerry E said...

I love the photos on both this post, Laura, and the previous one on the Movie Locations Tour. I did catch one or two of them on our one visit to LA in 2000. Of course, Union Station is very familiar to me from that exciting 1950 movie of the same name.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks so much, Jerry, I'm always happy to hear when someone enjoys the photos, and I hope it helped to bring a bit of the events to you. :) Glad to know you had the chance to see at least a couple of the sights -- perhaps you'll have another opportunity one day?

I enjoyed the film UNION STATION, that's one that would be good to rewatch now that I've been where it was filmed!

Best wishes,

12:28 PM  

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