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Noir City 13: Stock Up on Femmes Fatales 

Wednesday, Jan 14 2015
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As if the hard-boiled dicks and fatal femmes that populate film noir don't have enough hard luck as it is, now there's the fact that the annual Noir City Festival at the Castro is entering its 13th year. Hey, what's the worst that could happen on this lucky year? In fact, there are some very good things happening this time around, including the premiere of two newly restored classics. Shot in San Francisco back in the day, Norman Foster's 1950 Woman on the Run has had a storied history; what was thought to be the sole 35mm printed was destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire — though Noir City's big cheese Eddie Muller had surreptitiously made an archival digital copy beforehand, which is its own long story — and this opening-night presentation uses elements of a recently discovered British version to make a shiny new 35mm print. The other big 35mm restoration is John Reinhardt's 1947 The Guilty. Based on a Cornell Woolrich short story, it has the hallmarks of many a Poverty Row quickie: a tiny budget, a few meager sets, and that delicious patina of grimy doom. Falling outside the classic noir catchment, but still essential viewing, are the first two hella droll Thin Man films, as well as John Frankenheimer's 1966 mindbender Seconds. Good luck!

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Sherilyn Connelly

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