As far as it goes, true enough--and/but the devil will eventually be in the details. The actual history needs to be re-evaluated, including the timeline of noir, which--as we've noted here on several occasions--runs through the silent films that make use of Expressionistic techniques (the real "proto-noir"), followed by that cluster of early 30's sound works that quickly capture the tone and atmosphere of what we define as "film noir" and do so with the benefits of copious dialogue (returning the naturalistic theatrical aspect of live drama to film) and tone of voice (which adds a layer of irony that simply cannot exist in silent film).
No single festival, whether 10, 24 or 100 films, can pull off such a feat. NC 12 provided what was the already-established road map for foreign noir, adding Argentina. What followed in the years between it and NC 18 were a series of programs that pushed much further into the world of foreign noir, with a major emphasis on French noir (which is clearly the film world most deeply "embedded" in noir next to America).
NC 18 breaks down into decades as follows:
NC 12, focusing on the very best-known foreign noir (which, somewhat regrettably, is still the very best-known foreign noir), broke down into decades a bit differently:
So we can say, at least, that NC 18 formally discovers the staying power of film noir into the 1960s, particularly as a foreign phenomenon.
What seems to be continually underreported is the depth and range displayed in the series that have occurred in between NC 12 and NC 18, focusing mostly (but not exclusively) on French noir (but with 25 non-French noirs screened in 2015 and 2017).
Adding together these with the 101 French noirs screened at the Roxie from 2014-2019, the decade by decade breakdown is as follows:
1930s: 8 (0)
1940s: 19 (5)
1950s: 45 (11)
1960s: 29 (9)
The films in (parens) are the non-French films screened in the two RARE NOIR series.
So what NC 18 confirms, aside from its use of a not-inconsiderable number of films screened in the French and foreign noir series at the Roxie, is that the arc of foreign noir takes hold in the 40s (probably via some amount of exposure to American noir, save for France, which had its own noir tradition already), reaches its apex in the 50s, and continues strongly into 60s, where it begins to flag.
That would be a good message to get across to the audience at the Castro. It would also be at odds with the narrative that Eddie has been pushing at his audience for the past several years.
Hopefully there is time for all of this to get sorted out and dealt with in a more comprehensive manner. Film fests can't really do that, but their cumulative effect--if the festivals are designed properly--can lead in that direction. Is NC 18 capable of doing that? Maybe.