Lecture: Film Noir, An Immigrant Affair
Jan 23, 2018
- Location: Sie FilmCenter
- 2510 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80206
- Price: $5 - $7
- Starting: 7:00 PM
- Film & Literature
Taught by Iana Dontcheva, Filmmaker and Film Scholar
Film Noir is one of the most intriguing phenomena in 20th century American cinema. A genre for some, a current for others, Film Noir cuts the century in half, not unlike WW2, to which it is intimately related, drawing from the first half and shaping the second. It sits at the artistically fertile and effervescent crossroads between the American and European mid-century experiences: more than any other Hollywood staple, Film Noir is an immigrant affair.
The mention of Film Noir immediately evokes a series of stylistic and narrative traits recognizable to everyone. We all know a Film Noir when we see it! What we are perhaps less aware of is how intermingled Film Noir is with a host of artistic precursors, in literature and in cinema, and how terrifically it has since impacted both writing and filmmaking. The lecture will examine and establish precisely that— the complex network of aesthetic and thematic influences surrounding Film Noir and the unique historic and cultural contexts from which it emerged.
In the 1940s, film studios introduced an entirely new film genre to American audiences. Filled with murder, corruption and despair, and populated with detectives and femme fatales, the films that came to be defined as Film Noir grew into enduring and iconic classics. Today, these hard-boiled tales are just as fascinating and entertaining as when they first premiered more than a half-century ago.
The Denver Film Society is excited to present a collection of some of the best American noir classics, kicking off with the film that many suggest marked the genre’s end point (Touch of Evil) and working backward to showcase hallmarks of the form (The Big Sleep and Double Indemnity). The films, featuring career-defining roles by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including: Lauren Bacall, Orson Welles, Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Janet Leigh, and Edward G. Robinson, are cinematic treats, not to be missed on the big screen.
Along with these monthly screenings, DFS will also present a series of lectures by local film scholars that provide additional context and insights into the early American cinema. Lectures include an introduction to film noir, its history, impact and influences; a discussion about how Hollywood helped shape attitudes about the female body; and a presentation on the history of censorship and the Hays code in Hollywood. All screenings and lectures in this series take place at the Sie FilmCenter and are free for members, and just $7 for non-members.