I should have posted this earlier last week. Noir City Hollywood: The 18th Annual Los Angeles Festival of Film Noir started on April 15th and runs through the 24th at The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. For some reason the schedule is shorter this year. The closing night party is just a cocktail hour on Sunday before the showing of the femme fatale classic Too Late For Tears. In previous years there was a live swing band, a fake casino, food, drinks, a burlesque show and other noir-ish entertainment.
Attending the Noir City Festival cemented my interest in Film Noir. 5 years ago I attended the Festival for the first time. I watched the prison noir Brute Force, starring Burt Lancaster and another prison noir film starring Jack Palance. Since that night I have been obsessed with Film Noir. I even completed the free online course offered by Ball State University last Summer in conjunction with the Turner Classic Movies Summer of Noir film festival.
I find it difficult to explain my obsession with the genre. I think the primary reason is the darkness and paranoia the films portray. As I explained in my post on RetroTV and fondness for the tv classics The Fugitive and Route 66, it comforts me that many of the same struggles we face today occurred during the idyllic 1950s/early 1960s. I believe that since we were able to survive through the struggles back then as a country then we will survive now.
For those of you not familiar with Film Noir, search “film noir” in google and read some pages on it like Wikipedia’s. Then go to YouTube and legally watch some noir films that are available in the public domain. Start with the short but time-honored Detour. Then check out any of these available classic noir films: Kansas City Confidential, DOA, The Hitch-Hiker and The Big Combo. If you have a SmartTV these films are very crisp through the YouTube app.
If you get hooked, internet search “The Encyclopedia of Film Noir”. There are free versions of that book available in PDF format on the web. Study the book and it will prime you to become a noir junkie like myself.