Sunday, January 26, 2014

Report from Noir City 2014 - Part II

Day two of the festival was a south of the border whirlwind consisting of five films - four of which were shot in and/or set in Mexico. The two films from Mexico - In the Palm of Your Hand (1951) and Victims of Sin (also 1951) - were noteworthy and then some, and both contained some audacious moments that I will attempt to do justice to in a later, longer posting. 

But perhaps the big event of the day was the public debut of the newly restored, hasn't-been-seen-in-decades version of 1949's Too Late for Tears, starring those film noir royals Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea. This too warrants a longer, more in-depth write up, one that will have to wait until later, as we're still in the thick of the festival, and time is at a premium. 

One quick story though...We wound up having a young woman who was visiting San Francisco from China sit next to us during Too Late for Tears. She was just in the city for a day, and, somehow, happened to wander into the Castro to see the evening show. In talking to her, she explained that in China, they don't ever show old movies, and she has never seen any old American films either. So her first exposure to any sort of classic film was watching Dan Duryea and Lizabeth Scott lie, cross and double-cross each other for nearly two hours. 

After that, I guess she'd absorbed all the new-old media she could take. Though she had said that she was planning to stay for the evening's second feature, a new, restored print of The Hitch-Hiker (1953), she excused herself after Too Late for Tears and headed back to her hotel. 

Maybe Dan Duryea doesn't make such a good international ambassador? 

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