Tuesday, March 15, 2016
This is one of those genres that gets regular repertory screenings locally, "The Postman Always Rings Twice" must screen at least one a year somewhere in The Hub. So Channel Zero decided to take the genre in hand and try and revive some truly obscure noir titles, the sorts of movies that The Brattle or the Harvard Film Archive might overlook. Both are worthwhile institutions to be sure, but Channel Zero has an economy of scale that the majors cannot necessarily exploit, so why wouldn't we bring up something deep from the well of undeserved obscurity?? Its an odd genre anyway, it mostly has a lot of highbrow enablers which is odd because the noir cinema milieu is dark conflicted, ambiguous and very very working class. The protagonists are boxers, seedy insurance salesmen, threadbare detective and the occasional cop who is sweet on the wrong dame. Moreover, Forget Hitchcock and Preminger, Classic Film Noir was the bread and butter of Hollywood's Schlock Houses, Producer's Releasing Corp (Bela Lugosi's last legit studio gig), Columbia (the Three Stooge's nominal paymasters) or Republic (the studio that invented the Singing Cowboy Picture), Noir pictures were primarily "Programmers", redoubtable B Pictures designed to anchor a double feature. They were otherwise a good home for a decade for directors like Edgar G. Ulmer, performers like Linda Stirling (mostly known for her Jungle Girl Serials) or aspirational blondes in a death spiral like Barbara Payton or wandering character players like J. Carroll Naish. A madder tea partei cannot be invented. So of course a gritty crime double feature immediately suggested itself to us....and what a double feature Jimmy Cagney's ONLY directorial effort ("A Short Cut to Hell") and a solid Lawrence "Reservoir Dogs" Tierney gangster movie....and all of it dripping with the requisite atmosphere that once made "Cahiers D' Cinema" go into sheer spasms. We are taking a real chance on Friday Night, it's a big player genre to be sure, please tell your friends...
Sunday, March 13, 2016
CHANNEL ZERO PROUDLY PRESENTS A Classic Film Noir Double Feature! (our first double feature in sixteen years!) "A Short Cut to Hell" (1957) and… "The Hoodlum" (1951) A Short Cut to Hell (1957) directed by James Cagney. This is the Famed Actor's only Directorial Effort! A taut punchy crime thriller about a twitchy hitman who gets paid off in stolen money & plots revenge on his former employers! and…. The Hoodlum (1951) Tarantino's fave, Lawrence "Reservoir Dogs" Tierney stars as a ex-con who takes a straight job as a means to reassemble his old gang and pull off an armored car heist!! We will also be screening the trailer to our first film "A Padded Envelope from Madrid" which is now an Official Selection at the Boston International Film Festival!! Tell Your Friends! The Somerville Theatre (screening room) Friday March 18th 8pm (sharp!) Admission $8.50 (cheap!) 55 Davis Square Somerville Ma (617) 625-5700