LES SORCIÈRES DE SALEM (1957) - TÉMOIN DANS LA VILLE (1959)
THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT '23, the tenth in a series that began in 2014, is a masterful mixture of newly rediscovered rarities and re-screenings of past festival favorites that exemplifies the unique programming touch of mercurial Midcentury Productions executive director Don Malcolm—who celebrates his birthday (modestly but proudly shared with Gérard Philipe on his 101st anniversary) on the festival's closing night.
Thirteen films in all will screen on November 26-27 and December 3-4, which brings the total of rare and "lost" French noirs screened in the series up to 133 unique titles.
And there are still more to come!
"By rediscovering and popularizing French film noir, Malcolm has upended everything we knew and thought we knew about the noir genre. His latest festival is another home run, 13 films that show the kind of noirs that could be done in a country that did not conform to a rigid and censorious production code. French noirs are as entertaining as American noirs, with the added difference that they were truthful and realistic about love and sex as practiced by consenting adults."
—Mick LaSalle, SF Chronicle
San Francisco's Roxie Theatre is located at 3117 16th St. between Valencia & Guerrero, one block from the 16th & Mission Bart station. BOX OFFICE: 415.863.1087
SUNDAY MATINÉE - NOV 26
12:30 PM THE DEVIL & THE ANGEL / LA FOIRE AUX CHIMÈRES
Disfigured counterfeiter (Erich von Stroheim) marries blind carnival girl (Madeleine Sologne): can their union survive his crimes and her sight being restored? (1946, Pierre Chenal, 107m)
2:30 PM SECRETS OF A FRENCH NURSE / LA BONNE TISANE
The first night on call for a beautiful young nurse (Estella Blain) is filled with a myriad of dangers that eventually merge together: a lecherous doctor (Raymond Pellegrin) who is treating a paranoid crime boss (Bernard Blier). With Madeleine Robinson as the moll & Roland Lesaffre as a twitchy gunsel. (1958, dir. Herve Bromberger, 101m)
4:30 PM THE ACCIDENT / L'ACCIDENT
Young schoolteacher (Danik Patisson) arrives on a remote island & is plunged into an increasingly dangerous menage a trois with her headmaster (Alan Rivière) and his disaffected wife (Magali Noel) (1963, dir. Edmont T. Greville, 91m)
SUNDAY EVENING - NOV 26
7:15 PM THE CRUCIBLE / LES SORCIÈRES DE SALEM
The year: 1692. In the Puritan world of Salem, Massachusetts, a spurned young woman (Mylene Demongeot) is dumped by her lover (Yves Montand) and seeks revenge by accusing his wife (Simone Signoret) of being a witch. Much toil and trouble ensues... (1957, dir. Raymond Rouleau, 145m)
MONDAY- NOV 27
6:45 PM DEDEE OF ANTWERP / DÉDÉE D'ANVERS
A beautiful streetwalker (Simone Signoret) dreams of a better life & falls in love with a hard-bitten sailor (Marcel Pagliero), much to the violent dismay of her rotten pimp (Marcel Dalio). There are many consequences... (1948, dir. Yves Allegret, 95m)
8:30 PM DILEMMA OF TWO ANGELS / IMPASSE DES DEUX ANGES
Two former lovers (Simone Signoret, Paul Meurisse) are reunited in an awkward coinicidence: he has been hired to steal the necklace she has been given by her wealthy husband-to-be (Marcel Herrand). (1948, dir. Maurrice Tourneur, 85m)
SUNDAY MATINÉE - DEC 3
12:30 PM ESCAPE FROM YESTERDAY / LA BANDERA
Fleeing France for the Spanish legion after killing a man in a fight, a young man becomes embroiled in love & intrigue while an investigator relentlessly searches for him. With Jean Gabin, Annabella, Robert Le Vigan. (1935, dir. Julien Duvivier, 88m)
2:15 PM CROSSROADS / CARREFOUR
A wealthy industrialist (Charles Vanel) has his life turned upside down when he is accused of being an impostor and a murderer. With Jules Berry. (1938, dir. Curtis Bernhardt, 84m)
4:00 PM THERE'S NO TOMORROW / SANS LENDEMAIN
A bourgeois woman (Edwige Feuillère) fallen into sordid circumstances meets her former lover (Georges Rigaud) and risks everything to conceal her plight from him. (1939, dir. Max Ophuls, 82m)
SUNDAY EVENING - DEC 3
6:30 PM THERE'S ALWAYS A PRICE TAG / RETOUR DE MANIVELLE
A scheming, icy wife (Michèle Morgan) concocts a complex bait-and-switch scheme to collect insurance money on her husband by making his suicide look like murder, while pinning the crime on her duped lover (Daniel Gélin).(1957, dir. Denis de la Patelliere, 103m)
8:30 PM THE PROUD AND THE BEAUTIFUL / LES ORGUEILLEUX
A doctor driven to deep drink by despair (Gérard Philipe) and the long-suffering wife of a disgraced official (Michèle Morgan) find themselves caught in a Mexican village during a raging typhus epidemic.(1953, dir. Yves Allegret, 103m)
MONDAY - DEC 4 BIG ROXIE
6:15 PM BOOK SIGNING
Pre-show signing for Don's unique "artbook autobiography" Instagrammology, chronicling his unlikely emergence as an "artist" as result of his immersion in imagery related to (but eventually vastly different from) the ten singular festivals featuring French film noir that he's presented at the Roxie Theater.
7:15 PM WITNESS IN THE CITY / UN TEMOIN DANS LA VILLE
A revenge murderer (Lino Ventura) must attempt to eliminate the only witness to his crime, which leads to an intricate, increasingly desperate cat-and-mouse game on the streets of nighttime Paris. (1959, dir. Edouard Molinaro, 88m)
9:00 PM THE SEVENTH JUROR / LE SEPTIÈME JURÉ
A respectable pharmacist in a provincial town (Bernard Blier) kills a young woman and gets himself placed on the jury when another man is accused. After his efforts help acquit the man, deadly complications develop... (1962, dir. Georges Lautner, 90m)
MIDCENTURY PRODUCTIONS is a "boutique" programming venture designing "mini film festivals, featuring 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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