As the hometown of Sam Spade, San Francisco is a major player in the geography of American Noir, and rightfully so. But it is really modern-day pulp writer and film expert Eddie Muller who puts the city front-and-center as the Noir Capital of the World!
This week kicks off Noir City, the 11th Annual San Francisco Film Noir Festival, presented by Muller, who novelist James Ellroy has appropriately dubbed the “Czar of Noir.” Running from January 25 through February 3, Noir City presents remastered prints of some of the best and darkest English speaking cinema has to offer on the big screen of one of America’s greatest movie cathedrals.
Noir City began the year with the thrill ride with Gun Crazy, written by Dalton Trumbo and staring John Dahl and Peggy Cummings. Gun Crazy tells the story of a passionate couple on a cross-country crime spree. The true gem of this showing was Noir Leading Lady Peggy Cummings. Cummings was in attendance and shared her recollections of a career in motion pictures.
There are many other facets to this crown jewel of Noir, including a Pre-festive Noir City Night Club last Saturday at the Regency Lodge, where serenaders El Radio Fantastique and torch song temptress Laura Ellis set the stage for an open bar and striptease sensation Eve Lovelle. This trip through time to 1949 was hosted by MC and Noir Czar Eddie Muller, and was the perfect way to get into the mindset of World’s Largest Noir film festival.
The true stars of Noir City are the films, lovingly restored to their original glory by the Film Noir Foundation. Classics such as Sunset Boulevard and Repeat Performance share the bill with little-known but intriguing noir stories like Hell Drivers, The Hoodlum, and The Sniper. Included in the festival are pre-code movies A House Divided, The Kiss Before the Mirror, and Laughter in Hell, as well as African American voices in Noir such as Native Sun and Intruder in the Dust. Also featured are the 3-D Noir offerings Man in the Dark and Inferno.
These dark clouds over San Francisco won’t last long, so head to the Castro and make sure you get your ticket for some of the best that Noir has to offer, brought to you by folks who truly live for the dark side.
This year the holiday season rushed in like a blitzing linebacker, catching me flat-footed and completely unaware. Today we finished our Christmas shopping, wrapped everything up, and started the holiday baking. Our cards went out last week, but we still weren’t done.
Kringle Noir follows our No-Name Detective as he hunts a gang preying on charity Santa Clauses. As our gumshoe runs down the clues, he comes to realize that these are no ordinary muggings. With the help of Jimmy Two-Fingers, a retired second-story man, No-Name goes undercover where no sleuth should ever tread: Behind the beard of a Saint!
To paraphrase Robert De Niro’s Al Capone: “They put one of our Santas in the hospital; we put one of theirs in the morgue!”
Kringle Noir sells for $2.99 at Amazon.com, but YOU can get yours FREE this holiday season! Go to our page on Amazon before 12/25/2012 and download your copy on us. Think of it as a Christmas present for those who might get left off Santa’s list this year.
Happy Holidays All!
Steve Gomez, Chief Investigator
The Noir Factory
One of the great things about living in the Sierra Foothills is that you can tell the difference in the seasons. That isn’t always the case in California, but up here, when summer turns to fall, you can see it, and even feel it. There’s a shift in the wind and a drop in the temperature, and a feeling right down into your soul that signals autumn here. It’s my favorite time of year.
It’s also football season! But this week, even though I bleed the colors of my football team, my attention has been shifted to a great post-season baseball run, and what is shaping up to be a memorable World Series.
Halloween is also a great time for me. Not because I love to dress up (although it isn’t a deal breaker), but I love horror stories, monster movies, haunted houses, and a good scare.
Oh, and those little “fun sized” candies! Their size alone gives you a free pass to eat more of them than you ever would if they were full size!
But I digress.
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I’m hooked on Person of Interest.
I’m not the most faithful of television viewers.
There’s been the occasional “Northern Exposure,” and I was a pretty big “X-Files” nerd. There was also “Spenser for Hire” (thus dating me back to the Stone Age, or the 80’s), but it’s been a while since I fell in love with a television show. It was pretty close with “Fringe,” and I still record it, but ever since they visited the alternate universe things haven’t been quite the same, but that’s neither here nor there.
Yeah, bad pun intended.
Having said that, I am developing a pretty big man-crush on CBS’s Person of Interest.
For those of you who are late to the carnival, Person of Interest focuses on Harold Finch and John Reese, two seemingly very different people living very different lives in New York City.
Finch (Michael Emerson) is a reclusive billionaire computer programmer who invented “the Machine.” “The Machine” is not so much a physical thing, but rather a system that lives inside of the system. Think of it as the “Internet in the Internet,” but in this case, the “Machine” watches everything and everyone.
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Welcome to The Underworld Academy!
For our inaugural edition of The Underworld Academy we speak with “Inspector Todd” in Northern California. The good Inspector prefers to remain anonymous, so we at the Noir Factory will respect his wishes.
The “Inspector” has a wide and varied history in law enforcement spanning over twenty five years and has worked with countless crime scenes. I sat down with “The Inspector” yesterday morning and we discussed some of the things that investigators look at when they dissect the scene of a crime.
Noir Factory: Is there a “basic training” of sorts for officers when learning about crime scene procedure?
Investigator Todd: We receive intense investigative training both at the start of our careers and consistently throughout it. On completing their academy training, rookies go through additional training with veteran officers in the field for 12-16 weeks. Afterwards, officers periodically attend training classes to learn new technologies and procedures. They also receive further training when their duties or job roles change. Crime scene procedure is stressed at every level of law enforcement.
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