Full Series Pass*: $100/$80 (Belcourt members) | Click here to BUY FULL SERIES PASSES
*Includes one ticket to each of the series’ 20 films, plus free admission to the Intro to Noir Seminar, Sat, Jan 4 (time TBA)
Ticket 5-Packs: $43/$30 (Belcourt members) | Click here to BUY TICKET 5-PACKS
Film noir is not a genre... It is not defined, as are the western and gangster genres, by conventions of setting and conflict, but rather by the more subtle qualities of tone and mood. It is a film "noir, " as opposed to the possible variants of film gray or film off-white. (Paul Schrader’s “Notes on Film Noir,” Film Comment, 1972)
We're kicking off 2020 with a question. What is noir? Sweat on the brow of a hardened criminal cornered by the law? The plodding of desperate feet against wet concrete? A sliver of light splashed across the faces of two star-crossed lovers engaged in a final embrace? The two-faced dame holding a smoking gun just as easily as she holds the cigarette between her lips? Well sure, it's all of these things, but it's also so much more.
Noir Fest’s previous iterations at the Belcourt (in 2008 and 2011) centered on cornerstones of the genre from America, France and England. While this latest installment features a number of familiar titles, the thrust of the series is towards the more granular, je ne sais quoi qualities of the genre. Focusing on the darkness of tone, the shattered mirror of post-war America reflecting on itself, and illuminating the moral complexities of new wars at home, some of these films might not immediately look the part, but they most certainly feel it.
Featuring 10 pairings throughout January and early February, the Belcourt shines a venetian-blinded spotlight on this dynamic, modern and groundbreaking genre whose ripples can be felt throughout cinema to this day. We’ll also be hosting an introductory seminar on the stylistic and tonal foundations of noir, as well as a deeper dive into the genre, along with a number of film introductions to help make sense of it all.
Please note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the January 13 The Dark Mirror: Film Noir and History seminar has been canceled.
Sat-Sun, Jan 18-19
Love Fatale x2: Drifter Frank Chambers arrives at a quiet roadside restaurant where he meets and falls for Cora, the wife of restaurant owner Nick Smith. After Frank maneuvers his way into a job, he and Cora begin a love affair—and cook up plans to end her marriage and start over.
Sun, Jan 19 | Tue, Jan 21
Love Fatale x2: A writer falls in love with and marries a young socialite. But her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of them both and everyone else around them.
Wed, Jan 22 | Sat, Jan 25
Explosive Endings x2: A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.
Thu, Jan 23 | Sat, Jan 25
Explosive Endings x2: A dishonorably discharged former cop hires two racially divided and debt-burdened men for a bank robbery. Suspicion and prejudice jeopardize the trio’s alliance, threatening to derail the lucrative heist while putting everyone’s life on the line.
Sun, Jan 26 | Tue, Jan 28
Burt Lancaster x2: Professional hitmen track down “The Swede,” a gas station attendant with a storied past. He anticipates their arrival though, having made peace with paying what’s due. Intrigued by the murder, insurance investigator Reardon traces a complex tale of crime and treachery to enigmatic femme fatale Kitty Collins.
Sun, Jan 26 | Tue, Jan 28
Burt Lancaster x2: Vicious Broadway gossip columnist J. J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) ropes unprincipled press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) into smearing the up-and-coming jazz musician who’s romancing his beloved sister.
Wed, Jan 29 | Sat, Feb 1
Big Pictures x2: Crimeways magazine editor-in-chief George Stroud is framed for murder by his publisher and must solve the crime himself while evading police suspicion in director John Farrow’s criminally underrated thriller.
Thu, Jan 30 | Sat, Feb 1
Big Pictures x2: Police lieutenant Diamond is ordered to halt surveillance of suspected mob boss Mr. Brown due to budget overruns with zero headway. Diamond makes one last attempt to nail Brown through his mistress, underestimating the mobster’s wrath and his own insatiable thirst for revenge.
Sun, Feb 2 | Tue, Feb 4
Sidney Poitier x2: Injured in a robbery, the Biddle brothers—a pair of white, racist criminals—are admitted to the prison ward of the county hospital and assigned to young black physician Dr. Brooks. One brother dies and the other blames Dr. Brooks, ordering his gang to start a race war.
Sun, Feb 2 | Wed, Feb 5
Sidney Poitier x2: The close, interracial friendship between two Manhattan longshoremen—Axel Nordmann, a drifter on the run and Tommy Tyler, a free-spirited beatnik—is threatened by violent bigot Charles Malik.
Fri, Feb 7 | Tue, Feb 11
John Huston x2: A little time in prison doesn't deter Doc from returning to what he loves most— recruiting the right men to orchestrate thrilling heists with big payoffs.
Sat, Feb 8 | Wed, Feb 12
John Huston x2: Frank McCloud visits his war buddy's family hotel just as it is commandeered by immoral gangster Johnny Rocco. As a hurricane brews overhead, Frank develops a sense of allegiance to his late pal’s loved ones and readies himself to put an end to senseless violence.