Because of the festival’s narrow construct, we were left with films like Love Me Or Leave Me, that wasn’t a noir, or oddities like Specter of the Rose and Mickey One – baroque one offs, while interesting, were “noble failures”. Showing Antonioni’s Blow-Up just proved that when Antonioni ventured outside of his Italian social norms he he was adrift and rudderless. Blow-Up is as outdated as Nehru jackets and bell bottoms, and the young people in it, jammed together on a car, with their white face makeup and playing in mime, makes one yearn for an Isis appearance.
We were even “treated” to recent Noir City less than mediocre retreads like Crack-Up and The Two Mrs. Carrolls, simply because they fit into the festival theme. They were balanced out by In A Lonely Place, which grows richer with every viewing, Scarlet Street, which is in in the noir pantheon, and The Dark Corner, that is a kind of painting by numbers noir that is pulled off by pros like Lucille Ball, Bill Bendix, Clifton Webb and the under rated Mark Stevens.
It seems that the establishment of Noir City has gone beyond a single theme, instead of just sticking to noirs that are just damn good films, and don’t follow a thematic construct.
On a final note, it is quite clear that Warner Brothers doesn’t care squat about the quality of the 35mm films they send to Noir City. They clearly prefer DCP screenings. The WB films that were shown in 35mm all had problems. I don’t know whether it is the Castro’s sound system, but films like Deception and Corridor of Mirrors had a muddy sound track. It just wasn’t my old ears, but at least three or four other people had the same sound issues.