Monday, February 14, 2011

The Dark Side of Town

(Cross-posted on the June and Art blog…)

For the next week, February 14 through 21, I’m going to try my hardest to tie the entries on both “June and Art” and “Preserving a Family Collection” to the subject of film noir as part of “For the Love of Film (Noir): The Film Preservation Blogathon.”  Film noir was extremely popular in the post-war years that are remembered on “June and Art.”  As readers of the blog know, June and Art spent many evenings at the movies, often at double features.  Well, many of those movies they were watching would have been film noirs.

The world of film noir is the dark side of the city where femme fatales lure tough guys to their doom.  Some classic examples would be Double Indemnity (1944), Laura (1944), Out of the Past (1947), and The Big Heat (1953).  If you can picture Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, or Humphrey Bogart in a black-and-white drama laced with shadows and betrayals…  that’s noir.  (Note:  A movie like L.A. Confidential might be considered a modern day equivalent of the classic noirs of the 40s and 50s.)

Truthfully, June and Art weren’t film noir people.  Their tastes tended more toward a musical like On the Town (1949) rather than a film noir like The Third Man (1949).  Nevertheless, film noir is a potent part of the 1949-50 atmosphere – and with June living in the classic film noir location of New York City and with their mutual friend Bruno struggling through an archetypal film noir story (love betrayed – car accident – despair), I’d like to think it isn’t that great a stretch to celebrate film noir here on these blogs.

We’ve lost thousands of classic films to neglect over the past hundred years.  A few dedicated organizations, including the Film Noir Foundation, are dedicated to restoring the old deteriorating nitrate film stock of these films to their original silver screen glory.  This year’s “For the Love of Film (Noir): The Film Preservation Blogathon” is dedicated to restoring a nitrate print of The Sound of Fury (1950), starring Lloyd Bridges, Richard Carlson, and Kathleen Ryan.  Click on the "Donate Here" buttons to make a contribution to the cause.

Our gracious blogathon organizers and hosts are Marilyn Ferdinand of Ferdy on Films and the Self-Styled Siren.  If you love film, especially classic film, definitely check out their sites.

This is a great cause!  Please contribute to the restoration of The Sound of Fury (1950), and enjoy “June and Art” and “Preserving a Family Collection” during this week-long film noir celebration!

© 2011 Lee Price

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