Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Film Series Alert! "Simenon 2020" Launch Spotlights "Inspector Maigret"


Great noir news! Midcentury Productions, the brilliant and groundbreaking little company that has so far staged six terrific French film noir festivals at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater over the past several years, is about to launch a new, unique series, Simenon 2020. The program begins with a double bill this weekend, on Sunday the 23rd at the Roxie, and will run ‘til October. Here’s what it’s all about…

Georges Simenon (1903 – 1989) may not be as well known in the U.S. among crime and noir fiction fans as Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett, but the prolific Belgium-born writer penned hundreds of novels, novellas, short stories and articles in his decades long career. More than 170 film and TV adaptations of his output have been produced, many of them featuring Simenon’s best-known creation, Inspector Jules Maigret.  Maigret has been portrayed by a wide array of actors, from Jean Renoir’s brother, Pierre, to Charles Laughton, to Jean Gabin, to Rowan Atkinson. Many television series based on the Maigret novels have made their way to the small screen since the 1960s most notably France’s Maigret (1991 – 2005) starring Bruno Crèmer (1929 - 2010). Crèmer’s was a most majestic portrayal of the sharp-eyed, pipe-toting, overcoat-and-hat-wearing detective, capturing the character’s professional acumen and inherent humanity with equal grace.

Jean Gabin
This Sunday two Maigret features will screen at the Roxie. First, at noon, is Cecile est Morte/Cecile is Dead from 1944, starring Albert Prejean as Inspector Maigret. In this one Maigret must find the killer of a woman he ignored when she sought his protection. The second, Signe Picpus/Signed Picpus (2003), stars the ultimate Maigret, Bruno Crèmer. This time the inspector investigates the murder of a fortune teller and discovers a complicated and far-reaching network of deception.

For tickets and more information on this Sunday's program, click here. And don't fear the subtitles!

Simenon 2020 will continue with additional double bills in March, April, June, July, August and October. In May, the series will take a break for a five-feature birthday marathon in honor of Jean Gabin that will include five films – and birthday cake!

But that’s not all...Those who attend the first six Simenon 2020 programs (February – August) will have a chance to win a festival pass to this year’s French noir fest, The French Had a Name for It 2020, coming November 5 – 8.

Click here for details…and check back at this site for more about Simenon 2020, the Gabin marathon in May, and "French 2020” in November.