The selection was a welcome expansion into Brit-noir with CLOUDBURST, a very solid Brit-noir that is sort of a British Intelligence variant on THE BIG HEAT, with a dish of cold revenge heating up as Robert Preston is driven by grief to transform himself into an increasingly obsessive avenger.
Eddie handled the intro/outro with aplomb, providing a reasonable amount of background information about the real-life British intelligence unit that operated during WWII and its leader, Leo Marks, who became a playwright and a screenwriter after the war, eventually writing the screenplay for the notorious Michael Powell film PEEPING TOM (1960).
That said, there's more extant info about the film and its background readily available, some portions of which are worth knowing before watching CLOUDBURST for the first time. The reliable Glenn Erickson wrote about the myriad matters coalescing around the creation of CLOUDBURST in a DVD Savant review ten years ago, which amplifies Eddie's intro substantially. You can read it here:
Watching CLOUDBURST again was highly enjoyable, but doing so was a sad reminder of how difficult it is to sustain sufficient interest in British noir in a festival setting to do it proper justice. From a film programming standpoint, this is a great frustration, as Brit-noir represents the third most numerous "film noir canon" behind the USA and France, and the films don't possess any potential baggage from the need for subtitles.
Eddie would do his audience a service by trying to increase the number of Brit-noirs screened in some future version of the NC festival; it would be the best way to overcome this gap in interest that seems to exist. There are many dozens of fine Brit-noirs that haven't gotten any traction in noir festivals, and there really has to be some way to change that...
P.S. This week's film on Noir Alley brought things back to the USA--to the deserts and beaches of Southern California, to be exact--with DRIVE A CROOKED ROAD. Lots of intriguing (and highly nostalgic) location shooting enhanced an already fine story enhanced by first-rate performancs from Mickey Rooney, Dianne Foster, and Kevin McCarthy.