Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Film Noir San Francisco

Film Noir San Francisco
Co-presented by the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society and the San Francisco Film Society
Tuesday, November 11, 7:30 P.M.
Kanbar Hall
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

This was a look at San Francisco as depicted in film noir of the 40s & 50s. The 2 presenters, Miguel Pendás of the San Francisco Film Society & Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation, traded off introducing 16 film clips from classic & obscure films. They both have a real love & respect for these movies. I enjoyed most seeing landmarks of San Francisco that are now gone, such as the produce market that used to exist at the Embarcadero, the ice skating rink at the location of the Cliff House, & the Owl Drugs at Powell & Market.

We saw 2 great clips from Orson Welles's The Lady from Shanghai. The 1st one featured non-stereotypical views of Chinatown, including a Chinese opera performance & the Chinatown telephone exchange. The 2nd clip was the surreal climax which takes place in the hall of mirrors in Playland. I need to see this film.

In the real world, I want to check out the Art Deco house on Telegraph Hill where Humphrey Bogart hides out in Dark Passage. Supposedly there is a Humphrey Bogart cut-out in one of the windows, as an homage to this film. The presenters also recommend a book from the 40s called, rather bluntly, Where to Sin in San Francisco. They say it's great source material for the period. & their favorite San Francisco movie? Same as mine: Vertigo.

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