The Film Noir Foundation's world-famous and fabulous yearly NOIR CITY film festival returns to San Francisco's legendary Castro Theatre for its 15th year anniversary, January 20-29. This year's theme is "The Big Knockover" and the fest delivers 24 exceptional films ranging from the late-1940s to today and from all parts of the globe. That's almost 70 years of heists, hold-ups, and schemes gone wrong.
NOIR CITY 15's lineup explores the desperate lengths to which people will go to beat the system and hit the big time, charting a veritable history of the heist film from black & white Hollywood classics such as Criss Cross (1949) and The Asphalt Jungle (1950) to stunning contemporary thrillers like El Aura (2005) and Victoria (2015).
"This year's focus on heist movies provides the perfect opportunity to venture beyond the 1940s and '50s to show how noir has expanded and transformed over the decades," said NOIR CITY festival producer and host, Eddie Muller. "To me, it's one of the most exciting programs we've ever done. The movies are terrific individually, but viewed as a 66-year chronological storyline, this program is a uniquely powerful experience."
Some of the unexpected treasures being presented:
* A newly restored DCP of Violent Saturday (1955), a widescreen Technicolor spectacle that mixes a bank robbery with Douglas Sirk-style small town melodrama.
* Claude Sautet's Classe tous risques (1960), an exceptional French crime caper too long in the shadow of the classic Rififi (with which it shares a double bill).
* Cruel Gun Story (1964), a heist thriller rife with double-crosses and shocking violence, starring Japanese super star Jô Shishido.
* Once a Thief (1965), a French-American co-production starring Alain Delon and Ann-Margret, shot entirely on location in mid-sixties San Francisco.
* The late Michael Cimino's first feature film, the unique caper comedy-drama Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), co-starring Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges.
* Paul Schrader's directorial debut, Blue Collar (1978), an incendiary political film that's become only more timely and prescient since the seventies.
* Fabián Bielinsky's remarkable El Aura (2005), which Eddie Muller declares "the best film noir of the 21st century."
* Sebastian Schipper's uncanny Victoria (2015), featuring a tremendous performance by actress Laia Costa, which unfolds in a single extraordinary 138-minute take.
Check out the full schedule HERE and get your tickets now to support a great cause; the dollars you spend at the festival go towards the Film Noir Foundation's year-round restoration efforts.