Fatally Yours – A Film Noir Series

. September 30, 2018.
Fatally Yours – A Film Noir Series

The Michigan Theater will be presenting Fatally Yours — A Film Noir Series through October 15. Opening night featured Eddie Muller, the president of the Film Noir Foundation and host of TCM’s Noir Alley, with a post-film discussion.

Film noir was a relatively short-lived genre beginning around 1940 through the mid 1950’s, but its style has left an indelible mark on American cinema. Its influence has inspired parodies, fashion, music, neo-noir (modern noir films), sunshine noir (noir in color, usually set in Los Angeles), fo–reign noir and even its own language: slang the characters use within the confines of the genre. Noir cinema came from hardboiled crime novels written by a handful of authors in the 40’s and 50’s like Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain.

Dames— smart, tough, sexy

One of the most notable contributions of film noir are its dames — women who weren’t just sexy, but smart, tough and deadly, usually for the male detective protagonist. In the 1930’s, Hollywood introduced “the code.” The code was backlash for the decadence of the films of the 1920’s. It was a laundry list of things you could no longer depict in films: sex, nudity, story lines that didn’t properly punish immoral characters and whatever the censors thought might be a bad influence on audiences. Film noir danced around those censors with clever dialogue, lighting and meaningful looks.

Opening night will feature Rita Hayworth with Orson Wells, as both star and director, in The Lady From Shanghai. Hayworth and Wells were married, but estranged when they made this film together in 1947. Mexican born Hayworth, with platinum blonde hair, has as much bombshell power in this film as she di-d playing Gilda in 1946. The film’s masterpiece ending, a shootout in a hall of mirrors, is just one of many reasons not to miss it in a theater.

Another notable film Mildred Pierce, starring Joan Crawford, balances noir and elements of melodrama; whatever it is, it’s an unforgettable film. At almost 40, when most actresses were forced into retirement, Crawford left the studio she’d been with her entire career (MGM), made Mildred Pierce and brought home not only an Oscar, but a victory for post-war women everywhere. Don’t forget to look for Eve Arden who’s a knockout as Mildred’s best friend Ida Corwin. Arden is best known for playing the principal of Rydell High in Grease.

Laura, starring Gene Tierney and Vincent Price, is another must see film. Tierney is so lovely that make-up actually dimmed her beauty. And look for Bonnie Cashin’s costume design for the title character that created fashion trends for the rest of the decade. If the theme to Laura sounds familiar, you aren’t dreaming. The theme is now known as a jazz standard whose beauty, like Laura’s, can never be marred with time.

Fatally Yours — A Film Noir Series also
includes Double Indemnity and Gun Crazy.
Get your tickets on The Michigan Theater’s website,
with films scheduled through October 15th.
michtheater.org/noir

Trending

Frances Luke Accord @ The Ark, Feb 6

There’s a renaissance in folk music that’s been germinating around the southern shores of Lake Michigan over the last five years – and Frances Luke Accord are a vibrant component to a gallery of contemporaries that include The Accidentals and The Crane Wives. Their new EP comes out January 25 and its titled Silver & Gold; here’s

Throwaway at the Blind Pig with Louis Picasso and Scissor Now – Jan 24

We’re all weirdos or strangers or awkward stumblers in this life… Throwaway faces that inherent eccentricity and denies it any ability to make one feel alienated by dramatizing alienation by way of accentuation: like a paper bag over one’s face. You might call this guitar/drum duo punk, or noise-rock, but that’s a result of your

Shaggy 2 Dope Talks About His Blind Pig Show, Dropkicking Fred Durst, and Going Solo

(Full disclosure: Jason Webber is a former employee of Psychopathic Records) Shaggy 2 Dope is the George Harrison of Insane Clown Posse. He’s the quiet one…at least until you get him talking about things he’s passionate about—ICP’s Juggalo fanbase, music, and the Dark Carnival mythos that runs throughout ICP’s body of work, which—sorry, haters—is now

Cardamom Owner Binod Dhakal Q & A

A peek into the minds of Ann Arbor’s culinary arbiters and their unique perspective on Washtenaw County’s dining and hospitality culture.