the silver screen

There really is something different about old black and white movies. The constraints of the technology in the 50’s forced the directors to use light in such beautiful ways, and to rely more on good writing and acting and less on cheesy after-effects (not to mention CGI).

Anyone looking to brush up their film chops, or just have an excellent night at the movies without feeling like you paid $10 to watch a two-hour long Audi commercial, should check out the Film Forum’s Essential Noir, going on now until Christmas. 34 classic noir films, shown as double-features, a new pair every few days. Last night I saw the Philip Marlowe special: Murder, My Sweet and The Big Sleep. The booze! The cigarettes! The backstabbing women! The crooked cops! It’s all there, and more.

My advice? Get there early. I’ve been a few times so far, and it’s been sold out every time. And all the old people who thought “Finally! A movie in which sex is only implied by a lamp being turned off!” are really irritable and don’t want to get up to let you get popcorn. But it’s worth it, trust me. You’ll want to bring a notebook to write down all the great lines. And if you’re not careful, you might find yourself at work the next day saying to one of your coworkers, “Now just quit your yappin’ and bring me a bourbon.” Don’t forget your fedora.

www.filmforum.com

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