Talky, Gritty, Glam: Noir City

Silk stockings on, LA: The annual Noir City Film Festival returns to Hollywood.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Thursday, Apr 4, 2013  |  Updated 1:59 PM PDT
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Talky, Gritty, Glam: Noir City

Noir City

The 15th Noir City opens at the Egyptian and the Aero on Friday, April 5. Dames and guys rule the theater through April 21. Look sharp.

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Film and literary genres have a way of begetting other film and literary genres. Like? Well, today's romcom is distantly related to the screwballs of the '30s. Likewise, every road picture where criminals hop into a vintage convertible and head into the California desert can call noir a grandparent.

Make that a great grandparent. The post-war love of all that was gritty, talky, and a little bit wrong went onto influence just about every film and book to come for the next several years. Okay, maybe not the Technicolor musicals, but we'd argue that the sassy, backtalky dialogue of Hollywood's sunniest fare could find some roots in noir.

Noir's major, and certainly 'round Southern California, the place where the genre was born and bred to be bad. Good bad, of course, as the slate of films during Noir City will attest. The 15th annual film festival is set to roll at both the Egyptian and Aero Theatres for a full two weeks plus starting on Friday, April 5.

What's on the screen? Plenty of seamed-stocking, crooked-fedora action of the double-crossing, lily-livered sort. You'll find some obscure flicks, obscure to even noir fans, and then you have "Sunset Boulevard," which has a deeply dark comedic streak. (Yep, noir could be funny, even as the threats were bandied about by a bunch of baddies.)

The Film Noir Foundation and American Cinematheque are behind all of the not-so-clean fun. Oh, and let's give props to the foundation for the San Francisco Noir City, too (if ever there was a city to share LA's noir crown, it's the foggy one to the north).

A closing night party on April 21 promises torch singing, period-style music, and plenty of dolled-up attendees. It should be free of down-and-dirty double dealing, but, you know. No promises, jack.

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