The French Had a Name for It 6

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First show: November 14

“This festival, like the ones past, gives people a chance to see good noirs that they’ve never seen before—and might not ever see again…. Before Malcolm came on the scene in 2014, everyone thought that Americans invented film noir, and the French just gave it a name. Au contraire. In fact, noir seems to have been invented simultaneously, or, if anything, the French got there first…. French noir is brisk. It has great stars and directors, and—this is big—it wasn’t censored like American noir…. The new festival has something worth seeing every day. You can immerse yourself or dabble, and you’ll be ok either way.”  —Mick LaSalle, SF Chronicle • France’s Own Film Noir Takes No Back Seat to America’s

upper left: Jane Fonda, JOY HOUSE aka LES FELINS (Friday) upper right: Emmanuelle Riva, Sami Frey, THÉRÈSE DESQUEYROUX (Sunday afternoon) lower left: Bruno Cremer, Marisa Mell, OBJECTIVE 500 MILLIONS (Monday) lower right: Jean Gabin, Alain Delon, ANY NUMBER CAN WIN aka MELODIE EN SOUS-SOL (Sunday evening)

Darkness in the Sixties

THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT 6

Don Malcolm brings his epic, game-changing French noir series to a (temporary) conclusion with 15 more films that focus on the 1960s, a time when, as Don puts it, “all hell broke loose.” That brings the total number of rare noirs screened at the Roxie since 2014 to an astonishing one hundred and one (101! Mon dieu!)

The French Had a Name for It 6

It’s all here in FRENCH 6—taut thrillers, noir-horror hybrids, wide-ranging heist films, thrillers laced with political overtones. Women in distress, femmes fatales, blood feuds, backstabbers, bickering thieves, men haunted by their past: French noir in the sixties is bursting at the seams with dark tales that grab you by the throat and refuse to let you go!

The French Had a Name for It 6

So surrender to it, already! It’s the end of the line—don’t miss Don’s kickass finale to a series that has people talking to themselves! Buy the festival pass and take a trip back to the time when film noir dove off a cliff, never to be the same again. Here’s your chance to re-experience it in all its dark glory. See you in Noir-vember!

Festival Pass available for sale at the Box Office until supplies last!

→ View more about the films at the MidCentury Productions site. Titles below link to the festival site.

Thursday, November 14

LOVERS ON A TIGHTROPE / LA CORDE RAIDE  7:15 PM

A cheating wife (Annie Girardot) is unwittingly drawn into a murder scheme against her suspicious husband (François Perier) by a lover who may be up to something completely different… (1960, 79 min)

THE BURNING COURT / LA CHAMBRE ARDENTE 9:00 PM

A group of disparate individuals, all with ulterior motives, descend upon a grand French estate owned by an elderly man—an estate rumored to be the site of past episodes of witchcraft and supernatural events. When the owner is murdered, they each get more than they bargained for! Directed by noir master Julien Duvivier. (1962, 110 min)

Friday, November 15

THE LOVE CAGE / LES FELINS  7:15 PM

Lover-boy Alain Delon is on the run, and goes from the frying pan into the fire when he hooks up with two sexy but dangerous ladies (Jane Fonda, Lola Albright) whose hiding place proves to be filled with even greater peril. Directed by René Clément. (1964, 95 min)

HEXES / MALEFICES  9:15 PM

Juliette Greco is mysterious, fascinating—and quite possibly a witch set on murdering her new lover’s wife. All the sinister action takes place on a remote island with the all-too-appropriate name of…Noirmoutier! Boileau-Narcejac (the source novelists for Vertigo and Diabolique) strike again! (1962, 93 min)

Saturday Matinée, November 16

WE DO NOT BURY SUNDAY / ON N’ENTERRE PAS LE DIMANCHE 1:00 PM

Director Michel Drach adds interracial romance to his noir-New Wave hybrid, where a young Gabonese writer (Phillipe Mory) is exploited, seduced, abandoned, and ultimately suspected of murder. A fascinating, singular rediscovery! (1960, 95 min)

THE LITTLE SOLDIER / LE PETIT SOLDAT 3:00 PM

Jean-Luc Godard mixes love, war, and political treachery in his second film, banned for three years due to its darkly subversive take on the Algerian conflict. Anna Karina, in the full bloom of her 18-year-old beauty, first reveals her Sphinx-like qualities as an unreliable love object. (1960, released 1963, 88 min)

LES ABYSSES  4:45 PM

Noir crashes into the bestial sub-universe of Jean Genet in this harrowing tale of two maids who descend into madness and murder after years of mistreatment by the family employing them. This controversial film was championed by French intellectuals, who forced it to be screened at Cannes (to a tumultuous reception). (1963, 91 min)

Saturday Evening, November 16

SYMPHONY FOR A MASSACRE aka THE CORRUPT / SYMPHONIE POUR UN MASSACRE  7:15 PM

A cartel of smugglers whose business is faltering plan a “last big score” only to have a series of betrayals put the entire scheme in jeopardy. Jacques Deray’s beautifully crafted third film was a mega-hit and established him as a leading director in France. (1963, 112 min)

THE FABIANI AFFAIR / HORACE 62  9:30 PM

A shocking tale of a blood feud undertaken by two Corsican families living in Paris. Charles Aznavour and Raymond Pellegrin are electrifying as the reluctant leaders of an altercation that proves tragically unstoppable. (1962, 94min)

Sunday Matinée, November 17

THÉRÈSE / THÉRÈSE DESQUEYROUX 1:00 PM

Georges Franju’s take on the “provincial gothic,” where the lives of women are so grimly stifled that they will even consider poisoning their husbands to escape their emotional enslavement. Emmanuelle Riva is riveting as the wife who longs for a room of her own. (1962, 109min)

WEB OF FEAR /CONSTANCE AUX ENFERS  3:15 PM

Michèle Morgan is a lonely widow who witnesses a murder, and who falls in love with the murderer—not knowing that it’s all a “love con.” A slick, twisty thriller set in a very 60s Paris, with Morgan giving us the full range of her consummate facial expressiveness. (1964, 90min)

Sunday Evening, November 17

ANY NUMBER CAN WIN / MELODIE EN SOUS-SOL 6:15 PM

Jean Gabin at last—and with Alain Delon!—in Henri Verneuil’s irresistible heist tale set on the French Riviera, where these two mismatched partners in crime attempt to knock over a swanky casino. Gabin is marvelously crusty; Delon is sullen and dreamy—will they pull off the big score despite their essential incompatibility? (1963, 111min)

THE LAST OF BELLE / LA MORT DE BELLE  8:45

Georges Simenon’s roman durs often explore desolate psychological landscapes: here we witness the astonishing impact of suspicion as it eats away at an innocent man (Jean Desailly) hounded by the police after the murder of a beautiful young girl who was renting a room in his house. Desailly’s third-act transformation is utterly astonishing! (1961, 94 min)

Monday, November 18

THE WAR IS OVER / LA GUERRE EST FINIE  7:00 PM

Alain Resnais abandons his usual opaque narrative approach for a meditation on the desperate lives of revolutionaries, seen through the lens of an aging agent (Yves Montand) torn between a desire to give it all up and the passion of an affair with a beautiful young revolutionary (Genevieve Bujold) who urges him to “up the ante” with more violent forms of disorderly acts. (1966, 116min)

OBJECTIVE 500 MILLION / OBJECTIF: 500 MILLIONS  9:15 PM

Bruno Cremer plays a haunted veteran of France’s wars (both Indochina and Algeria…) is approached with an airplane heist scheme by a mysterious woman (Marisa Mell) who is fronting for the man who had Cremer put in jail for war crimes. Cremer agrees to the heist, but he can’t decide if he wants the money, the woman, or revenge against the man who betrayed him. “The last classic French film noir” and a shattering collaboration between writer/activist Jorge Semprun and director Pierre Schoendoerffer. (1966, 92min}

 

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