Edited by Don Malcolm on 3/22/2018, 6:47 pm
Fri April 13 THE BLUE DAHLIA/I LOVE TROUBLE
Sat April 14 L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (James Ellroy in person)
Sun April 15 KISS ME DEADLY/CITY OF FEAR
Mon April 16 DARK CITY/ARMORED CAR ROBBERY
Tue April 17 HE WALKED BY NIGHT/DOWN THREE DARK STREETS
Wed April 18 DRAGNET/LOOPHOLE
Thu April 19 THE TURNING POINT/THE SCARLET HOUR
Fri April 20 PITFALL/JEALOUSY
Sat April 21 THE PROWLER/M/THE BIG NIGHT
Sun April 22 ACT OF VIOLENCE/NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES
A kind of "kitchen sink" approach, as you can see--but with one really interesting night, where two long tucked-away Paramount films that were championed long ago in the "DM era" of FNF's e-zine will at long last be returned to the big screen. (I would venture to say that THE TURNING POINT was easily the best of the films in the Paramount-Universal vaults.)
THE SCARLET HOUR was unearthed not by Alan K. Rode, but by Gary Deane back in 2010 with a fine essay that delved into Michael Curtiz' mid-50s mashup of DOUBLE INDEMNITY and POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, a film that's enjoyable despite its many flaws, in no large part thanks to the scene-stealing work from Elaine Stritch--playing Carol Ohmart's dipso "bestie" (to use that piece of annoying millennial slang).
(And don't be surprised if Alan decides to do full-on Curtiz as the feature of his Palm Springs event--there are copies of his book to be sold down in the desert, and with THE SCARLET HOUR available at last, the Curtiz segment of such a film series will be a definite highlight.)
By far the strongest part of the program is found in the final four nights, with far more range in the films than what's on display in the initial six. The Losey triple bill would be stronger still if the FNF could quit pussyfooting around with "social outcry" noirs and substitute THE LAWLESS for THE BIG NIGHT, but Eddie is apparently determined to keep insisting that all he needs to do in the Age of Trump is pay lip service to Abraham Polonsky and keep showing THE PROWLER (suggesting in the writeup at the Egyptian site that is a "rediscovered masterpiece"... which the FNF restored and first presented a decade ago at NC/SF #6). BTW, THE PROWLER is in the lineup this weekend at FNF's inaugural weekend "noir toe-dip" in Denver.
One last examination of the NC LA 2018 schedule before we sign off...now that we have figured out how to bring over our graphs to the Board, we can extend the recent look at our "hard-boiled/melodrama noir continuum" to the films in the above lineup. We've scatter-plotted 19 of the 20 films (leaving out LA CONFIDENTIAL) to "see how they fall" distribution-wise (as Jack Lemmon would say). Here's the chart:
As you can see, the skew here is clearly to the "hard-boiled" (the upper left quadrant on the chart). Interestingly, however, the more interesting films screening over the last four days of the schedule are the ones appearing in the "melo" area (the lower right quadrant).
At any rate, it's probably a good thing that the FNF is getting back to basics--a "comfort food" approach to noir really does seem to be their comfort zone.