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The French Had a Name for It: French Film Noir 1946-1964 Recommended

When: Nov. 14-17 2014
Price: $12

noir repatriated

When we say "film noir," we think of American movies. What we don't remember is that the French didn't just coin the term, they also ran with it. Unseen in America for decades, a dozen French films at the Roxie this weekend should recalibrate our understanding. A joint venture between longtime Roxie programmer Elliot Lavine, a noir aficionado, and Midcentury Productions' Executive Director Don Malcolm, The French Had a Name for It unearths midcentury noir gems. The series shrewdly opens with a pair of early works by pitiless thrill-master and eventual Hitchcock peer Henri-Georges Clouzot, starting with Manon, his modern update of an infamous 18th-century novel about a nobleman who runs away from his high-bred family with a lower-class, luxury-loving young woman. The next film in the queue is Clouzot's La Verité, a perfect introduction to Brigitte Bardot. As Malcolm adds, "The French bring a fully adult dimension to their conception of the femme fatale." We need to see this.

— Jonathan Kiefer


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