I don't see any attempt here to create a master list of excellence--rather someone looking for a series of eclectic sub-themes (or "sections," as Milan calls them) in order to provide some shorthand for exploration. And enough new stuff to keep the Czech hipster crowd (Milan is in his early 30s now) invested.
You can quibble with some of the selections. (NOIR SOUTH OF EL PASO is a misleading title for the films such a title lumps together--it's very doubtful that the setting of RIDE THE PINK HORSE is actually south of El Paso, and WHERE DANGER LIVES has only a few scenes at the border, and contains no cultural references to Mexico or Mexican culture). But it's nothing to get hung up about. One thing I keep noticing is that no one seems to want to show THE BIG STEAL, even though it takes place entirely in Mexico and has a lot of ironic cultural references built into it. (Elliot Lavine might pop in here and say the reason no one wants to show it is that it's no good! He's entitled to his opinion, but given that there really aren't that many American noirs that actually take place "south of El Paso," methinks that THE BIG STEAL should've gotten a nod here.)
The Bogart selections would seem to reflect the current insider noir thinking that THE BIG SLEEP and THE MALTESE FALCON are overexposed, but why not drop in DEAD RECKONING instead of CONFLICT? Gives you another Liz Scott and it really is a better film. I think they show it because they want to see Greenstreet but they feel constrained about showing THE MALTESE FALCON. Somehow hip noir programmers think that they can set up IN A LONELY PLACE by screening a quality-challenged psychological drama like CONFLICT or THE TWO MRS. CARROLLS in order to show Bogie's acting range.
Selecting Hitchcock and placing him in a noir context is good, and these are all good (if highly obvious) choices. But there is no discussion in the liner notes about the question of "Hitchcock and noir," only the note that THE WRONG MAN seems to have pushed him to use techniques that weren't usually part of his filmmaking approach. (In other words, he went more for noir lighting and wallowed a bit more in a criminal context, while overlaying the more familiar psychological elements into a story that was leaner and more linear than most of his other thrillers.) I would suspect that there isn't this "of two minds" issue about Hitchcock in European academic circles--he's not as fetishized over there than is the case here.
Most interesting are the Czech noirs, and several of those are solid candidates for inclusion in a RARE NOIR context. THE HOPE is by a director (Karel Kachnya) that we just featured in our AGITPROP! series, though we chose a different, more political film (THE EAR, or UCHO). THE HOPE has a similar storyline (alcoholic protagonist) to a film we screened at RARE NOIR 2 this past spring (Poland's PETLA, from 1958).
It will be interesting to see where Milan and his associates go with their festival in the future. I suspect it will remain eclectic and span many decades. That seems to be a winning combination there, and it should be a viable formula for some time to come.