The winter chill is settling in and the nights are getting longer, an atmosphere we at Academy Cinemas feel lends itself to screening the best of what literally translates as ‘dark film’ on the big screen.
Film noir was a term first used in 1946 by French Film critic Nino Frank to describe specific Hollywood cinema of the period. Now identified as a mixture of hard boiled depression era crime stories with the stylised aesthetics from German expressionism, these films were often brutal, sexualised, nihilistic and strangely dreamlike.
In Voyage du Noir, we are particularly interested in how these Noirish traits changed and acclimatised based on the country, the context and the artists behind the film. The result is a selection of cinema that all extrapolate beyond their hardboiled crime stories into perceptive examinations of border tensions, wartime existence, domestic terrorism, life under fascist regimes and working class struggle. We have also decided to include some later films in the noir cycle, when avant garde movements such as the Japanese and French New Waves get playful with the genre, marking the entrance not only of a new generation of filmmakers but also the winding down of the classical noir movement.
We hope you enjoy exploring the darker side of human experience in the various countries represented in the festival. You will be witness to a fascinating array of contrasts and similarities in a genre that has disseminated all over the world and influenced renowned filmmakers for years.
Pick up a programme from Academy!
Opening night: “Le Corbeau” (1943)
France, PG Adult themes, 83 mins
Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Centrepiece: “Elevator to the Gallows” (1958)
France/PG Low level violence / 88 mins
Directed by Louis Malle
Closing Night: “Touch of Evil” (1958)
United States/M/106 mins
Directed by Orson Welles
“Death of a Cyclist” (1955)
Spain/Rating TBD/87 mins
Directed by Juan Antonio Bardem
Directed by Luchino Visconti
”Branded to Kill” (1967)
Directed by Seijun Suzuki
“Odd Man Out” (1947)
Directed by Carol Reed
“Night and the City” (1950)
Directed by Jules Dassin
“The Big Sleep” (1946)
United States/PG/116 mins
Directed by Howard Hawks