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Festival FILM NOIR: THE OTHER SIDE OF HOLLYWOOD

 

FILM NOIR: THE OTHER SIDE OF HOLLYWOOD February 17-27, 2011

Rodina Cinema Center, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Nicholson, Rita Hayworth, Kirk Douglas; John Huston, Billy Wilder, Jacques Tourneur, Charles Vidor, Robert Aldrich, Stanley Kubrick, and Roman Polanski are all featured in our festival FILM NOIR: THE OTHER SIDE OF HOLLYWOOD! from February 17 to 27 in St.Petersburg, Russia.

We are pleased to present Russia's first-ever festival dedicated to FILM NOIR and THE OTHER SIDE OF HOLLYWOOD where we will show these American cult films at the historical Rodina Cinema Center in the very heart of St. Petersburg.

 

As the first festival to focus on this aesthetically fascinating period of world film history, we hope it will become a key event in every Russian movie lover's calendar - especially as we will be showing the films from genuine 35 mm prints.  Russian audiences will get a chance to hear the voices of these legendary actors and get acquire a taste for hardboiled American English.

 

What makes our festival so interesting? Well, film noir has something to tickle everyone's fancy from whodounit mysteries based on the hardboiled plots of America's best detective stories to tragic fates worthy of ancient Greek tragedies.  Hollywood's toughest men - including Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas, Jack Nicholson, and more - are forced to face their weaknesses and a series of femme fatales - such as Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, and Faye Dunaway - as they wrestle with issues like crime and punishment in a swirling cloud of intrigue, shady deals, and revenge.  While happy endings are still possible, what kind of a price will our heroes be asked to pay along the way?

 

Our festival begins on February 17 with a showing of Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard (1950) - one of the brightest and most ironic stories ever told about Hollywood and its silent film era.  The next day, we will show John Houston's The Maltese Falcon (1941) - widely regarded as the "first" film noir.  Other entries in our series include The Asphalt Jungle (1950) with Marilyn Monroe in her breakthrough role; Stanley Kubrick's The Killing (1956) which was made to resemble a documentary film; and Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974) as it helped usher in a new generation of neo-noir films. As Russia's first festival of American film noirs, we hope to introduce Russian audiences to the genre by tracing its development from its origins to the present day. 

 

Film noir made its first appearance in the United States at the start of the Second World War.  These films reflected the inevitable tensions of living on the edge in the tense times before, during, and after a major global conflict.  As they evolved, film noirs became the antithesis of Hollywood's optimistic musicals and comedies and created an entirely different Hollywood.  Film noir inherited many of its plots, themes and characters from the hardboiled fiction of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and their followers which appeared in huge prints runs between the two world wars.  Borrowing their visual style more from German expressionist films from the 1920s than Hollywood's own 1930s gangster films, film noir developed its own visual style which was reinforced as German, Austrian, and Hungarian directors and cameraman fled the reach of the growing Nazi Empire to seek safety and employment in Hollywood.  By the mid 1940s, these dark and edgy films were hugely popular with their American audiences as they seemed to capture the mood of the decade.  After a final flourishing in the 1950s, film noir faded away in the 1960s only to be revived again in the 1970s as neo noir

 

For additional details about the story of film noir, St. Petersburg's film-goers can attend a series of free public lectures before the start of our formal program starting on February 9 when well-known cinema critic Anzhelika Artyukh will deliver a lecture called Film noir: when a style becomes a genre at the Rodina Cinema Center.  U.S. Consul for Press & Culture Eric A. Johnson will also deliver lectures on film noir at two of St. Petersburg's largest universities.

 

Please see our festival program attached.

The Film Noir Festival is organized by: the Tour de Film International Festival Agency and the Rodina Cinema Center under the sponsorship of the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg.

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