We begin in New York and London, where film noir is the talk of both towns. The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody takes two ongoing series—Femmes Noirs, at Film Forum through August 7, and Lady in the Dark: Crime Films from Columbia Pictures, 1932–1957, at MoMA through August 4—as an occasion to delve into the history of the genre. There’s excellent linkage and explication here, but in short: “The term ‘film noir’ has come down to us as a product of a subordinate strain of French criticism, different from the one that came to dominate cinematic discourse with the concept of auteurism, as well as to dominate filmmaking itself through the innovations of the New Wave.”
A new restoration of Orson Welles‘s The Lady from Shanghai (1947) is screening at BFI Southbank through August 19 and, for the Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw, “the sheer brio and style make it a thing of wonder, whisking the audience from the streets of New York City, to the open seas, to a tense courtroom and then to a bizarre house of mirrors…. Welles creates a dreamlike (though never surrealist) fluency and strangeness, along with a salty tang of black comedy and an electric current of doom and desire between O’Hara [Welles] and Elsa [Rita Hayworth]. It has an irresistible energy.” More from Geoff Andrew (BFI), Glenn Heath, Jr. (Little White Lies) and Katherine McLaughlin (Arts Desk). And the BFI’s Samuel Wigley writes up “10 great American film noirs.”
MORE GOINGS ON
New York. What’s Up Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones opened at the Museum of the Moving Image last Saturday “and will remain in place for six months before disembarking on a three year, thirteen city tour,” notes Nick Pinkerton at Artforum. “While at MoMI, the show will be augmented by weekend matinee screenings of Jones’s films, epiphanies when seen in 35-mm Technicolor prints from the director’s personal archive.”
NewFest, New York’s LGBT film festival, is on through Tuesday and, at Thompson on Hollywood, Jacob Combs picks five films to highlight. Nathaniel Rogers reviews Karim Aïnouz‘s Futuro Beach and Bruce LaBruce‘s Gerontophilia. And at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, you’ll find John Oursler‘s overview and interview with Charles Lum (Age of Consent), Madeleine Olnek (The Foxy Merkins), Stefan Haupt (The Circle), Daniel Ribeiro (The Way He Looks) and Hong Khaou (Lilting).
Los Angeles (and New York). Rebecca Prime’s 2013 book Hollywood Exiles in Europe: The Blacklist and Cold War Film Culture is “a study of politically compromised American directors after they uprooted their careers to Europe,” writes—again—Nick Pinkerton for Artforum. Prime also co-curated the fifteen-film, three-week rep series at the UCLA Film & Television Archive to which her book lends its title. Hollywood Exiles [through August 17] is the first of a group of upcoming programs oriented around the traumatic rupture caused by naming names: Beginning on August 15, Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York hosts Red Hollywood and the Blacklist, timed to their theatrical run for Thom Andersen and Noël Burch’s 1996 essay film Red Hollywood, and featuring a few of the same titles playing the Billy Wilder Theater. A week after that, New York’s Anthology Film Archives begins the collaboratively programmed Screenwriters and the Blacklist: Before, During, and After.”
San Francisco. Michael Guillén‘s posted an overview of Invasion of the Cinemaniacs!, a program of selections that’ll be presented through September 25 by some of the Bay Area’s most dedicated cinephiles.
Michael Fox has surveys of this year’s San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (through August 10) here in Keyframe and at EatDrinkFilms, where Paul Duane and David Cairns look back on the making of their documentary Natan.
Chicago. Word/Language/Text is a program of experimental films and videos that loosely explores the word “word.” Today, 3:30pm at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Austin. In the Chronicle, Louis Black previews The Sepia Screen, a series of all-black films, most of them directed by Spencer Williams (Andy in The Amos ‘n Andy Show) in the 40s in and around Dallas. Starts Sunday.
Toronto. Strange Paradise: The Cinema of Jim Jarmusch is on at TIFF Cinematheque through August 16.