December 17, 2009

Brit Noir @ The Heights, December 21 - March 1

Take-Up Productions presents Brit Noir, Mondays @ the Heights

While Take-Up Productions continues its weekly Wed.-Sat. programming at the Trylon microcinema (review the winter lineup), it also returns to the dark of winter night with a stellar Monday night film noir series at the Heights beginning next week and continuing through the end of February. Nearly all of these films are well-known classics, and the first film, Odd Man Out, is not available on DVD.

Taken from Take-Up's newly redesigned website:
 "Popular myth has it that film noir is an American invention - pessimistic tales of desire, greed and guilt, with shadowy lighting influenced by the German Expressionism of silent films. But disillusionment in post-WWII cinemas was fully an Allied effort.

Our series includes three films from director Carol Reed, with the the classic The Third Man, the rarely seen The Fallen Idol, and the highlight of the series: Odd Man Out starring James Mason. This film is not on DVD, and we’re getting a new print struck solely for the purpose of screening the film before the rights expire at the end of 2009 (the reason we had to run the film a month before the other screenings)."

Mon., Dec 21 - Odd Man Out (1947, Carol Reed) 
*New 35mm print!* 
“Superior, I think, to The Third Man. What really grabbed me at sixteen was the heavy atmosphere that hangs over everybody in the town. I still consider it one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, and a film which made me want to pursue this career more than anything else. It’s still fabulous, probably James Mason’s best picture.” -Roman Polanski

Mon., Jan 18 - The Third Man (1949, Carol Reed) 
“Calling this one of the finest movies ever made may be one of the most obvious statements ever made, akin to saying the sky is blue...but the joy this film provides is so magnified when it's projected in a movie theater that seeing it is like watching it for the first time.” -Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

Mon., Jan 25 - Peeping Tom (1960, Michael Powell)
“Film Noir at its self-referential best. Pushes the boundaries of what could be considered classic Noir - in saturated, almost pornographic Technicolor - but makes up for this with its unflinching attention to one of Film Noir's main themes, sexual perversity and obsession.” -Interview

Mon., Feb 1 - Night and the City (1950, Jules Dassin) 
“It may well be the definitive Film Noir in its hyperactive transmutations of London into a web of alleys and underground dens, its fevered chiaroscuro, its angular, fragmented images, and in Richard Widmark’s bravura performance of a born loser.” – Foster Hirsch

Mon., Feb 8 - The Fallen Idol (1948) 
“Lesser known [than The Third Man], but equally brilliant. Laced with moral ambiguity, Noir was a natural fit for Graham Greene, who was fascinated by paradox, betrayal, and lost innocence.” -Kristin M. Jones, The Wall Street Journal

Mon., Feb 15 - Gaslight (1940) 
So is Diana Wynward going mad? That’s what hubbie Anton Walbrook (The Red Shoes) seems to be telling her, even as he flirts with the maid in front of her face. “Lurking menace hangs in the air like a fog, the atmosphere is electric, and Wynyard suffers exquisitely as she struggles to keep dementia at bay.” -Time Out (London)

Mon., Feb 22 - Brighton Rock (1947) 
"TERRIFIC! Greene's movie-friendliness is in full cry. Brighton Rock shows, as clearly as anything ever did, his preoccupation with the allure of sin... virtue is by and large uninteresting, and moral weakness, grubby and persistent, is the main attraction, irresistible as the tawdry pleasures of an English seaside resort." -Terrence Rafferty, New York Times

Mon., Mar 1 - It Always Rains On Sunday (1947)
"A fascinating noirish look at life in London’s East End…the scenes between Googie Withers and John McCallum are stunningly erotic, and the movie ends with a spectacular chase through the London streets and rail yards. The use of lighting deep within the frame may prefigure Robert Krasker’s work in The Third Man." -David Denby, The New Yorker

*All films show at 7:30 PM

The Heights Theatre
3951 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55421 (Directions)

Info line: 763-788-9079
Advance tickets available for purchase online


  1. Dan, I've seen everyone of these films multiple times, and the first three are supreme masterpieces. In fact I saw them most recently at the Film Forum's Brit Noir Festival back in August. The first is my favorite British film ever, and the third is my personal favorite noir. Needless to say this is fantastic news and I hope you will be in attendance at the Heights Theatre!

  2. Thanks, Sam - "favorite British film ever" is a pretty ringing endorsement for Odd Man Out! Pretty amazing chance for people to see that as it's not otherwise available.

    I think I'm most excited to see Night and the City for the first time on the big screen.

  3. Dan, I erred. THE THIRD MAN is the one I meant to say was my favorite British film ever.

  4. Ah well, understandable when looking at two classics by the same director made two years apart.


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