Sunday at Noir City

Americans invented Film Noir, but the French named it. So it seems appropriate that on the first Sunday of this year's festival, Noir City presented a double bill of French crime thrillers. The two films have something else besides nationality between them. Both deal with gangsters who have young children. This always complicates things. Rififi … Continue reading Sunday at Noir City

The Handmaiden: Too long for its own good

B- Erotic noir Written by Seo-Kyung Chung and Chan-wook Park, from the novel Fingersmith by Sarah Waters Directed by Chan-wook Park Some films really do need to run well over two hours; others don't. The Handmaiden falls into the latter category. At 80 or 90 minutes, this would have been a really fun movie. But at … Continue reading The Handmaiden: Too long for its own good

Mifune and The Handmaiden at the Mill Valley Film Festival

Quick notes on two films screening at the Mill Valley Film Festival. Both films have one more screening at the festival, and both will soon get a theatrical release. Mifune: The Last Samurai I caught this documentary at the Lark Friday night. Director Steven Okazaki introduced the film, describing his first Mifune experience: The Seven … Continue reading Mifune and The Handmaiden at the Mill Valley Film Festival

Janus, Criterion, Coen Brothers, and James Schamus: Saturday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

I started the day with Wesley Morris' State of Cinema address. But as I've already written about that presentation, I'll skip it here and go to the two other events I attended. Mel Novikoff Award: An Afternoon with Janus Films & the Criterion Collection Every year, the Festival gives the Mel Novikoff Award to "an … Continue reading Janus, Criterion, Coen Brothers, and James Schamus: Saturday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Sunday Classical Music Noir Citys

Sunday's Noir City was all about classical musicians; dark, evil, down-and-dirty classical musicians. Well, not quite. Humoresque Talent isn't enough to make you a great musician. You need to work hard. You have to devote yourself to your art. And you have to sleep with Joan Crawford. In Humoresque, John Garfield plays a brilliant young … Continue reading Sunday Classical Music Noir Citys

A+ List: Goodfellas (and Groundhog Day)

It's taken me a month, but I'm finally getting back to my A+ list, where I cover my all-time favorite films in roughly alphabetical order. The last two films I looked at were The Godfather and The Godfather Part II--epic stories of American organized crime. Next alphabetically: Goodfellas--an epic story of American organized crime. Sort of … Continue reading A+ List: Goodfellas (and Groundhog Day)