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Noir City: First Annual San Francisco Film Noir Festival

The San Francisco Film Society is pleased to be associated withauthor Eddie Muller’s first San Francisco Film Noir Festival presentedat the city’s atmospheric Castro Theatre, Jan. 17-26, 2003. Twentyfilms, all set in San Francisco ­ Noir City ­ will screen inmagnificent 35mm over ten days in the first in a series of annual noirrevivals.

“Hollywood regularly exploited the city¹s reputation as a placeof mystery and intrigue,” says Muller, a San Francisco native. “Thisexclusive focus on San Francisco-based movies will be as close as localresidents can get to actually having lived in the Bay Area during theclassic film noir era.” Amidst familiar classics, such as TheMaltese Falcon and The Lady From Shanghai, are many raretitles not seen in 35mm exhibition since their original theatrical runsmore than 50 years ago.

Muller and Castro Theatre programmer Anita Monga have unearthedseveral incredibly rare items, including Woman on the Run,Shakedown, The Raging Tide, and The Midnight Storyproviding what may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for both film noirfans and local history aficionados to view vintage San Franciscothrough noir-tinted glasses. “These movies depict a once reckless,vice-ridden seaport transforming itself into a modernmetropolis‹precisely the kind of place where crime and danger,both real and cinematic, thrive,” says Muller.

This depiction of the American city of the mid-20th century is acompelling aspect of film noir. In its familiar geography of streets,hotels, penthouses and nightclubs, films such as Born to Killand Thieves’ Highway reveal a landscape of temptation andcorruption that borders on the mythological. “The films in this seriesare unsurpassed for their moodiness, allure and sarcastic wit,” saysMuller. “They¹re lustrous reminders of an era when gripping talesof sex and violence were not yet ironically postmodern or gruesomelydegrading.”

Muller’s latest film book, The Art of Noir,was published byOverlook Pass in October. He has also written Dark City: The LostWorld of Film Noir which was nominated for Edgar, Anthony andMacavity Awards and a followup, Dark City Dames: The Wicked Women ofFilm Noir which was Amazon.com’s #1 Editor¹s Choiceentertainment book of 2001. He will be on hand to emcee the series. Inaddition, Muller writes a series of noir mysteries set in SanFrancisco, the first of which, The Distance, was picked byThe San Francisco Chronicle as one of the Best Mystery Novels of2002. Its sequel, Shadow Boxer, is being released in January2003 by Scribner.

Friday, January 17
7:00 The Maltese Falcon
9:10 Dark Passage

Saturday, January 18
2:00, 5:30, 9:10 Woman on the Run
3:40, 7:10 The Lady From Shanghai

Sunday, January 19
1:30, 5:20, 9:10 Shadow of a Woman
3:10, 7:00 Sudden Fear

Monday, January 20
7:00 Out of the Past
9:00 Where Danger Lives

Tuesday, January 21
7:20 Race Street
9:00 Thieves’ Highway

Wednesday, January 22
1:30, 5:15, 9:00 The House on Telegraph Hill
3:20, 7:05 Born to Kill

Thursday, January 23
7:00 Nora Prentiss
9:10 The Woman on Pier 13

Friday, January 24
7:20 Shakedown
9:00 The Raging Tide

Saturday, January 25
1:40, 5:20, 9:00 The Midnight Story
3:30, 7:10 The Sniper

Sunday, January 26
1:00, 5:15, 9:30 The Lineup
2:45, 7:10 Experiment in Terror

Ticket prices are $8 general admission, $7 Film Society members, and$5 matinees, students, seniors, and person with disabilities.

Eddie Muller’s website is www.noircity.com.

The San Francisco Film Society, presenter of the 46th San FranciscoInternational Film Festival (April 17-May 1, 2003), is a nonprofit artsorganization whose goal is to lead in expanding the knowledge andappreciation of international film art and its artists.

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