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A RARE NOIR IS GOOD TO FIND 2
INTERNATIONAL NOIR REVISITED ▪ 1947-1966 ▪ 12 NOIRS/11 COUNTRIES

FRI-MON, MAY 5-8 ▪ ROXIE THEATRE
Presented by Mid-Century Productions

Thanks to all who attended Midcentury Productions' sixth film festival—the galvanizing RARE NOIR IS GOOD TO FIND 2, a twelve-film world odyssey that took Roxie Theatre audiences to eleven countries as it explored international film noir from 1947 to 1966.

Pitting two acknowledged masterpieces—ODD MAN OUT and BITTER RICE—against a lineup of ten rare and lost noirs, RARE NOIR 2 set out to prove that these more obscure works could hold their own in a "head-to-head" comparison. And audiences confirmed such a thesis, finding themselves riveted by films such as CAIRO STATION (Egypt), IN THE NAME OF THE LAW (Italy), KRAKATIT (Czechoslovakia), SEAGULLS ARE DYING IN THE HARBOR (Belgium) and CASH CALLS HELL (Japan). "These are the rediscovered masterpieces," curator and renegade programmer Don Malcolm suggested during one of his engaging, off-the-cuff introductions.

And the other rare films in the series—THE ROAD TO HELL (Mexico), MADNESS RULES (Switzerland), PETLA (Poland), STRANGE ENCOUNTER (Brazil), and THE HOUSEMAID (South Korea)—had their share of adherents as well. All in all, RARE NOIR 2 reminded Roxie audiences that dozens of memorable films noirs from around the world are still awaiting their chance to shine on the big screen.

Malcolm was quick to praise the stamina of Roxie audiences. "Twelve films in four days is quite a pace," he acknowledged. "It's always amazing to see how many of our audience members make it to every show—and nothing could be more gratifying."

All in all, another amazing time was had by all who came to the Roxie from May 5-8. And the good news is that a new French noir series is in the works for November. Watch this space for more information about THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT 4 as it becomes available.

FRI, MAY 5

Cairo Station

BAB EL HADID
CAIRO STATION

(1958) 7:30

The Road to Hell

CAMINO DEL INFIERNO
THE ROAD TO HELL

(1951) 9:15

SAT MATINÉE, MAY 6

In the Name of the Law

IN NOME DELLA LEGGE
IN THE NAME OF THE LAW

(1950) 2:00

Madness Rules

MATTO REGIERT
MADNESS RULES

(1947) 4:00

SAT EVENING, MAY 6

Odd Man Out

ODD MAN OUT

(1947) 7:00

PETLA
THE NOOSE

(1958) 9:15

SUN MATINÉE, MAY 7

Strange Encounter

ESTRANHO ENCONTRO
STRANGE ENCOUNTER

(1958) 2:00

KRAKATIT

(1948) 3:45

SUN EVENING, MAY 7

RISO AMARO
BITTER RICE

(1949) 7:00

Seagulls Are Dying in the Harbor

MEEUWEN STERVEN IN DE HAVEN
SEAGULLS ARE DYING IN THE HARBOR

(1955) 9:15

MON, MAY 8

GOHIKI NO SHINSHI
CASH CALLS HELL

(1966) 7:15

HANYO
THE HOUSEMAID

(1960) 9:00

FRENCH 3 LOS ANGELES
THE ELOQUENT, INDOMITABLE BERTRAND TAVERNIER

Bernard Tavernier

Audiences at the Aero Theatre attending LA's third installment of THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT (June 15-19) were enthralled by the in-person appearance of legendary director-historian Bertrand Tavernier, whose latest film MY VOYAGE THROUGH FRENCH CINEMA is now in limited release across the USA. A near-sellout crowd on Opening Night was rapt throughout the three-hour epic examination of classic French film, as Tavernier seamlessly tied together his own youthful fascination with film with searching, affectionate examinations of fabled filmmakers (Jacques Becker, Edmond T. Greville, Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean-Luc Godard), actors (Jean Gabin, Eddie Constantine) and composers (Maurice Jaubert, Joseph Kosma). View the trailer.

A matinée screening of Tavernier's Occupation-era classic LAISSEZ-PASSER (2002) produced a riveting Q&A on Saturday the 17th, which set up the screenings of LES PORTES DE LA NUIT (1946), Marcel Carné's brooding look at post-war Paris, and the first film by Jean-Devaivre, the key protagonist of LAISSEZ-PASSER, whose LA DAME D'ONZE HEURES is a riotously deadpan sendup of noir motifs, anchored by the great Paul Meurisse. Tavernier's introductions were lengthy but spellbinding, including heartfelt reminiscences about two worthy but lesser-known directors, Henri Decoin (whose work is familiar to FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT fans in San Francisco) and Gilles Grangier (whose work will be showcased in the fourth edition of the festival at the Roxie beginning on Friday, November 3).

Taking over from Tavernier on Closing Night (Monday, June 19th), Midcentury's Don Malcolm tied together a tangled web of creative interconnections in his previews of two often-neglected French noir classics, CASQUE D'OR (1952) and LES ORGUEILLEUX (1953). It was a reminder both of Tavernier's relentless quest to tie together the creative impetus in classic French film and the mission of THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT—to bring to light the astonishing number of lost and overlooked classic French film noirs that still await rediscovery. Thank you, American Cinematheque. And merci beaucoup to the indefatigable Bertrand Tavernier.

AGITPROP! TAKES THE MEASURE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE

Agitprop at the Roxie - April 26

Wednesday, April 26 was a special evening at the Roxie, where social justice programming from the past reached out to a devoted 2017 audience. Spurred by pinch-hit host Elliot Lavine (subbing for Don Malcolm, still on the mend from heart surgery, who made a special video appearance), folks were treated to a panoply of socially conscious film and television—beginning with the famously controversial "abortion episode" of THE DEFENDERS, and continuing with two meditations on ethnic prejudice--the lost B-noir OPEN SECRET and the celebrated but too-seldom-seen noir classic CROSSFIRE.

Thanks to our speakers—Gretchen Sisson and Vlad Khayin—for their fine efforts in tying together these pioneering works of the past with a broad historical context that reminded us that we must continue to defend abortion rights and thwart ethnic prejudice.

Folks had a generous dollop of fun as well, whether posing with Don Malcolm's amazing 6-sheet poster of CROSSFIRE, or signing the FREE THE DEFENDERS! petition urging Shout Factory to release seasons 2-4 of this landmark 60s TV series, all the while brandishing buttons that can win prizes for those who bring them back to the Roxie on May 5 for the RARE NOIR series. Thanks to all who attended, and watch this space for future social justice endeavors. In these tumultuous times, it's best to remember Ben Franklin's grimly relevant quip: "We must all hang together, or we may all hang separately."

Robert Ryan in CrossfireA CRACKLING EVENING OF AGITPROP! Roxie Triple Feature Brings Back Two Groundbreaking Movies and a Television Episode That Still Hold Power
—Dennis Harvey, 48Hills.org

Roxie Theater - San Francisco

The Roxie Theater is at 3117 16th Street. PHONE: 415.863.1087

The Housemaid (1960)

↑ View the RARE NOIR 2 trailer

La dame d'onze heures - Jean Devaivre

Casque d'Or

Crossfire - Social Justice Noir

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MIDCENTURY PRODUCTIONS

A "boutique" programming venture designing "mini film festivals," MIDCENTURY PRODUCTIONS features films from cinema's most explosive three decades—the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. We program original festivals and work with organizations and individuals to craft singular programming that illuminates the hidden corners of these three decades.

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