More Than Night: Looking at Film Noir

  1. More Than Night: Looking at Film Noir

Lecturer: James Naremore

Through December 14, we offer a series of fourteen programs entitled More Than Night: Looking at Film Noir, with weekly lecture/discussions by James Naremore, Professor Emeritus at Indiana University and author of numerous writings on cinema including the acclaimed book More Than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts. The series is made possible in part through the sponsorship of American Airlines, the Film Center’s Educational Underwriter, and is presented in cooperation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism. Additional screenings of the films on Friday or Saturday do not include Prof. Naremore's lecture. Admission to all More Than Night programs is $4 for Film Center members; usual admission prices apply for non-members.

—Martin Rubin

The film noir is usually associated with a cycle of dark crime movies from Hollywood in the 1940s and '50s--pictures about drifters attracted to femmes fatales, criminal gangs who pull off heists, private eyes who keep whiskey in their desks, and doomed lovers on the run. The form is usually downbeat in a smart, romantic way: “Is there any way to win?” Jane Greer asks Robert Mitchum in OUT OF THE PAST. “There’s a way to lose more slowly,” Mitchum replies.

This series will explore those films but will also show that the noir category is larger and more complicated than most viewers realize. We will discuss the phenomenon as an idea that originates in France in the 1930s, as a type of popular modernism, as an underground or low-budget cinema, as a style that undergoes changes over time, as an idea that has social and racial implications, and as a fashionable postmodern term that circulates throughout the contemporary mediascape.

—James Naremore



Fri, Dec 10th at 6:00pm
Tue, Dec 14th at 6:00pm
Average: 4.7 (14 votes)
  1. 2001, David Lynch, USA, 147 min.
  2. With Naomi Watts, Laura Harring

"Best Film of the Decade."
—Village Voice critics' poll

Using his favorite story hook of “A Woman in Trouble," Lynch’s bizarre, beautiful mystery takes a walk on the dark side of Hollywood. Shortly after arriving in Tinseltown, starry-eyed starlet Betty (Watts) finds an amnesiac stranger (Harring) at her doorstep. As Betty becomes obsessed with unraveling her new companion's mystery, we begin to suspect that neither woman is quite who she appears to be, and that they might not be strangers after all. MULHOLLAND DR. was hailed as a return to form for Lynch, earning him an Oscar nomination for Best Director. 35mm. (Christopher Sanew)

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Michael Polaire, the producer of MULHOLLAND DRIVE, will introduce the Friday screening.