I’ve been recommending the Noir City film fest, underway in San Francisco and running through Sunday. Noir City is the annual festival of the Film Noir Foundation, spearheaded by its founder and president Eddie Muller. The Foundation preserves movies from the traditional noir period that would otherwise be lost. Noir City often plays newly restored films and movies not available on DVD. And we get to watch them in vintage movie palace (San Francisco’s Castro Theatre) with a thousand other film fans.
To see the this year’s Noir City program and buy tickets, go here. Here are the highlights of Noir City’s bang up final weekend:
- Charley Varrick: the shamefully underrated American neo-noir from the 1970s with Walter Mathau. To survive, he’s got to outsmart the mob all by himself.
- The Aura: A completely overlooked 2005 neo-noir from Argentina about an epileptic taxidermist. He’s smart enough to plan the Perfect Crime, but does he have the sociopathic ruthlessness?
- Before the Devil Know You’re Dead: A masterpiece from the then 84-year-old director Sidney Lumet, it features one of the best performances by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Then there’s Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei and Michael Shannon – but Albert Finney steals the movie at the end.
- Victoria: A 2015 European thrill ride filmed in a single 138-minute shot.