The series runs for a week (Feb 14-20) and has the advantage of Presidents' Day (Feb 17) to add an extra set of matinees.
As you'd expect, the Argentine films will open the festival, but there are significant changes in the lineup after that.
FRI FEB 14
THE BEAST MUST DIE/THE BLACK VAMPIRE (Argentina)
SAT FEB 15
PANIQUE/RAZZIA SUR LA CHNOUF matinee
LE DOULOS/ANY NUMBER CAN WIN evening (France)
So far, the same. But now...
SUN FEB 16
A COLT IS MY PASSPORT/BRANDED TO KILL matinee
PALE FLOWER/RUSTY KNIFE evening (Japan)
Added Japan double bill--two rather repetitive Jo Shishido showcases (another example of taking the easy way out). Then, on Monday, another adjustment:
MON FEB 17
THE FACTS OF MURDER (Italy)/A WOMAN's FACE (Sweden) matinee
NEVER LET GO/VICTIM (UK) evening
STORY OF A LOVE AFFAIR, paired with FACTS OF MURDER at NC 18, is dropped and A WOMAN'S FACE is pulled from its closing day slot in NC 18 SF to pair with it.
VICTIM replaces THE LONG HAUL, which makes me wonder if Victoria Mature (an attractive and age-appropriate "Miss Noir City") is not coming to Seattle, since her father starred in the latter. VICTIM is actually a better choice for the festival, given that it is clearly a better film than THE LONG HAUL.
TUE FEB 18
AND THE FIFTH HORSEMAN IS FEAR/90 DEGREES IN THE SHADE (Czech)
No change here.
WED FEB 19
THE HOUSEMAID/BLACK HAIR (S. Korea)
No change here. I would play these films in the opposite order: THE HOUSEMAID was the closing film for RARE NOIR 2 in 2017–its creepiness warrants the lasting, lingering effect on the audience that can be achieved by placing a film in the "#2 slot" of a double bill. The corollary for a man besotted with the motto "barroom not classroom" should really be "Always leave them reeling..." (a statement that actually balances the two impulses).
THU FEB 20
THE DEVIL STRIKES AT NIGHT/BLACK GRAVEL (Germany)
No change here.
So--missing from Seattle are all four Mexican noirs playing on the second Saturday in NC 18. There is no documentation on the Internet indicating that these films have played in Seattle recently, so the reason for their total absence remains mysterious--possibly a show for them (and a few others that have been "on the circuit" in university and selected arthouse venues) is in the works.
Also dropped: ASHES & DIAMONDS.
A better solution would have been to play DISTINO AMANACER/CREPUSCULO as the Saturday matinee and pulled two of the French films. The distinctive flavor of Mexican noir should be part of any international festival: we made sure to have one in each of the RARE NOIR series (SALON MEXICO and CAMINO DEL INFIERNO).
But, as noted, there may well be something afoot with the Mexican films that we don't know about. That said, their absence in the festival is palpable.