THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT 3
FIFTEEN MORE CLASSIC FRENCH FILMS NOIRS, 1939-1965
Presented by Mid-Century Productions
THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT 3
The third time is more than the charm for Don Malcolm's relentless re-envisioning of French film noir. The latest installment provides an even more comprehensive view of this "lost continent," where more than 300 French noirs have languished due to a series of events unique in film history.
THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT 3 shows how classic noir remained a vibrant form for French filmmakers over four decades. In addition to the usual familiar names (Jean Gabin, Simone Signoret, Jean Marais, Michèle Morgan) in less-than-familiar titles, FRENCH 3 revives rare and exceptional films from both ends of the historical spectrum.
Opening night—Thursday, Nov. 3—takes us back to 1939 with the highly anticipated screening of the first adaptation of James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, Le dernier tournant/The Last Turn, directed by French noir pioneer Pierre Chenal. It screens with another 1939 film, Marcel Carné's Le jour se lève/Daybreak, often seen as the bridge between poetic realism and film noir.
The other edge of the timeline—the 1960s—is generously represented as well, with six films from that transitional decade appearing in the festival lineup. Of particular note are two from 1962—La dénonciation/The Denunciation and Léviathan/Dark Journey (Sunday afternoon, Nov. 6)—directed by "lost" members of the Nouvelle Vague. These forgotten works straddle the fault lines between the "cinema de papa" and the youth revolt that successfully throttled their elders.
In between, FRENCH 3 rehabilitates two directors dismissed by the New Wave, Christian-Jaque (Friday, Nov. 4) and Jean Delannoy (Monday, Nov. 7); reintroduces two of France's most mounumental monstres sacrés (Michel Simon and Louis Jouvet); spotlights two doomed actresses whose lives and careers were destroyed by World War II (Corinne Luchaire, Mireille Balin); and features a bevy of talented, beautiful actresses who are the heart and soul of the films in which they appear (Micheline Presle, Marie-France Pisier, and Simone Renant).
We are extremely pleased to be able to screen Manèges/The Cheat this year, courtesy of Rialto Pictures (playing Sunday evening, Nov. 6). An astonishingly pungent examination of greed and sexual manipulation, it so unnerved viewers that many of them publicly berated Simone Signoret for playing such a heartless woman. We predict that it will soon take its place near the very top of the French noir pantheon.
And last but not least, we present HOSSEIN X 5, a full day (Saturday, Nov, 5th) of five films featuring actor/director Robert Hossein, already a festival favorite in previously screened works such as Chair de poule/Highway Pickup, Toi le venin/Blonde in the White Car, and Le monte-charge/Paris Pick-up. See the sidebar below for more info.
Simply put, it's the best FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT yet. Available now: buy a FESTIVAL PASS at the earlybird discount price of $50—you will thank us later.
The Roxie Theater at 3117 16th St. can be reached at 415.863.1087.
SATURDAY, NOV 5 - HOSSEIN x 5
Perhaps the most unique auteur in the history of French noir, Hossein's five films in FRENCH 3 range from sweaty B-noir (Les femmes disparaissent/The Road to Shame) to studies in upper-class decadence (Les scélérats/The Wretches, Le jeu de la vérité/The Game of Truth) to heart-rending explorations of a serial killer (Le vampire de Düsseldorf/The Secret Killer). As you will discover, no two Hossein noirs are alike!
Léviathan/Dark Journey with Louis Jourdan, Lilli Palmer and Marie LaForêt screens Sunday, Nov 6, at 3:30.
San Francisco subscribers to our mailing list have a chance to see a sneak preview of Mid‑Century Productions' honcho Don Malcolm's documentary UNSUNG HERO (2016) celebrating the life and times of actor-activist Don Murray, along with Murray's long-lost interracial romance CALL ME BY MY RIGHTFUL NAME (1972) on Sunday, October 9, beginning at 2:00 pm. There will be a Q&A with Chris Murray (schedule permitting) between films.
A "boutique" programming venture designing "mini film festivals," MID-CENTURY PRODUCTIONS features films from cinema's most explosive three decades—the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. We program original festivals and work with organizations and individuals to craft singular programming that illuminates the hidden corners of these three decades.
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