Well, Dan, we have Leticia Palma to square off with Hend Rostrom on Opening Night. Palma is something of a force of nature in her own right, and you'll see a dark, dark story that goes in a different direction in a film whose title gets us deep into noir territory in five seconds flat: THE ROAD TO HELL.
There are plenty of these types of women to be found in RARE NOIR 2--Florence Marly in Sunday afternoon's incendiary KRAKATIT, and, from a completely different direction, Eun-Shim Lee in the very psychologically perverse THE HOUSEMAID on Monday night.
But we also have films with entirely different noir dynamics...not sure that we can limit our notions of noir excellence to the one type you are (justly) celebrating. No femme fatale in ODD MAN OUT, but it's another type of noir experience, a masterpiece more measured in tone and effect than the earth-entwined BITTER RICE.
As will be the case with Poland's PETLA, where the woman is trying to prevent her boyfriend from a descent into hell. Sicilian mafia noir, western style becomes a gripping cat-and-mouse game in Pietro Germi's IN THE NAME OF THE LAW, which plays Saturday afternoon in front of a chewy murder mystery set inside a mental hospital (MADNESS RULES).
We have nicely-turned exercises in noir style (STRANGE ENCOUNTER from Brazil, a much different film than the hard-edged, class-conscious heist film ASSAULT ON THE PAY TRAIN that just might have been the finest entry in 2015's initial RARE NOIR incarnation). And we have the unique SEAGULLS ARE DYING IN THE HARBOR, possibly best described as Belgium's first art noir, a kind of precursor to the American art noir THE SAVAGE EYE.
And CASH CALLS HELL is the last stop on the line for classic noir, with a superb, wrenching performance from Tatsuya Nakadai, one of Japan's greatest actors--still with us at age 84.
We can compare notes with respect to how the films in the series have been combined together as we go along--still awaiting final clearance from the doctors, but it's looking good for me to be able to take charge at my own festival this Friday. Hoping that our loyal Bay Area contingent will give us their usual stalwart support!