NOIR CITY 8 broke its previous record for attendance, even without the added bonus of special guest stars. Many of the regular patrons declared that the 2010 edition of the world’s most popular film noir festival had the best “vibe” yet, as hundreds of loyal Bay Area attendees mixed with an amazing influx of out-of-state and international fans, in town for the festival’s duration.
In addition to being the only film festival where all the proceeds go directly to film restoration, NOIR CITY is especially proud to be one of the last bastions of the communal movie-going adventure, playing host to huge crowds game to discover “forgotten” films of earlier vintage which would otherwise fall completely off the cultural radar. Bravo to San Francisco fans for still believing that movies are best on a big screen!
The "re-premiere" of Cry Danger, restored by the Film Noir Foundation and UCLA Film & Television Archive, was made even more memorable by the unexpected onstage appearance of costar Richard Erdman, who was moved to tears by the audience's spontaneous standing ovation. According to Erdman, his character in the film was a thinly-veiled portrait of the film's screenwriter, William Bowers.
Last year’s Ms. Noir City, Alycia Tumlin, started the show by interrupting host Eddie Muller to read a letter from Cry Danger star Rhonda Fleming, who couldn’t attend but sent her best wishes to the “Noir Citizens” of San Francisco.
“Bad Girl Night,” featuring two films from Sony’s soon-to-be-released DVD set Bad Girls of Film Noir, included an appearance by Sony’s VP of Asset Management, Film Restoration and Digital Mastering, Grover Crisp, who gave the audience a behind-the-scenes glimpse at film preservation in the digital age.
Rainer Clodius, who traveled all the way from Hamburg, Germany to attend the festival, was feted onstage by three NOIR CITY poster dames, Shiva Sharifi (NOIR CITY 3), Genevieve Guertin (NOIR CITY 4), and Alycia Tumlin (NOIR CITY 7).
International "noiristas" came from Austria, Canada, England, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, and Norway. Out-of-state fans came from Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington! Cick the thumbnail at left to enlarge.
Although he couldn’t attend the festival as originally planned, Harry Belafonte graciously sent a video introduction to his classic noir Odds Against Tomorrow. Watch it here.
One of the biggest hits of the festival was the seven-minute montage Endless Night: A Valentine to Film Noir, created by 20-year-old Serena Bramble with basic iMovie software. The film inspired the FNF’s board of directors to initiate an “Endless Night” Prize, granted to young artists whose work, in any medium, “extends the ethos and allure of classic film noir into a new generation.” Ms. Bramble was totally taken by surprise when Eddie Muller called her out of the audience to receive the Foundation’s gift of the Final Cut Studio, to help further her obvious talent for film editing. View "Endless Night" here.
In what’s become a NOIR CITY tradition, several screenings were preceded by a video tribute to recently deceased artists who left a mark in film noir. View Richard Hildreth’s memorial reel here.
Alycia Tumlin (at left) is featured in Keith Azoubel's atmospheric NOIR CITY 8 Trailer. View the final cut here.
This year Passport holders who attended all 12 double bills, were invited to cast ballots for the Best of the Fest “Roscoe Awards.” The results can be found here.
Here is photographer David Allen’s gallery of great NOIR CITY moments.
DAVID ALLEN STUDIO • Noir City 8 Photo Coverage
SF CHRONICLE • San Francisco: Noir City or Star City? / Daniel Hirsch
SF CHRONICLE • Tosca Cafe – Lights, Camera, Noir! / Catherine Bigelow
BAY GUARDIAN • Enter Night / Max Goldberg
BAY AREA REPORTER • Dark Forecast / Tavo Amador
SF STATION • In the Shadows / Michael S. Grant
SF EXAMINER • Murder, mystery, mayhem at Noir City fest / Sean McCourt
BERKELEY DAILY PLANET • Film Noir Festival Brings Cinema’s Dark Side to the Castro / Justin DeFreitas
BEYOND CHRON • NOIR CITY Returns to the Castro / Buzzin' Lee Hartgrave
BLOG CRITICS.ORG • NOIR CITY Film Festival — It's That Noir Time of Year / Alexandra Jones
One of the oddball features of this year’s festival was the unexpected inclusion of a nightly limerick, delivered by “The Voice,” Bill Arney. The reality behind it: most were written in a one-day spasm of inspiration by Chicago-based comic book artist and limerick-purveyor Hilary Barta, working in collaboration with Eddie Muller. Mr. Barta had created a whole series of “Noir City” limericks on his blogspot, so Muller asked him to create some specific to this year’s festival. For those who asked, here’s the entire set: