Thursday, March 31, 2022

THE CAFTAN WOMAN BLOGATHON - HONORING PATRICIA NOLAN-HALL

Patricia Nolan-Hall

The Caftan Woman Blogathon – Honoring Patricia Nolan-Hall will be hosted here at Lady Eve’s Reel Life and at Jacqueline's Another Old Movie Blog on Friday, May 6th.

On March 7th, the classic film blogger world lost one of its great writers and champions of classic film, Patricia Nolan-Hall, also known as Caftan Woman, the name of her delightful blog.  You can visit her blog here. 

Paddy was very supportive of other bloggers, and eagerly contributed to many blogathons, always graciously commenting on the posts of others.  It seems fitting to celebrate her time with us with a special blogathon in her honor.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Variations on a Genre: “Vehicular Noir” and “Noir on the Sea and in the Forest” ...

In this post, veteran noir programmer Don Malcolm considers the sub-genre implications of rare films noir - from the US, Croatia and Germany - set to screen when Midcentury Madness '22 returns to San Francisco’s Roxie Theater on March 12 and 13:

VEHICULAR NOIR

Looking over the long list of films noir screened by one-time colleagues Eddie Muller and Elliot Lavine, I was shocked to discover that the 1957 heist noir PLUNDER ROAD has never been shown by either of those estimable individuals. (Eddie even had a entire festival devoted to heist noirs back in 2017, with 24 films, but enigmatic director Hubert Cornfield—as was so often the case for him—was on the outside looking in. And he still is…)

Man used to live by his wits; PLUNDER ROAD tells us that we’re now utterly dependent on our machines for whatever crazy scheme that comes to mind…

That unfathomable situation will be remedied on Saturday, March 12 when we’ll screen it as we simultaneously christen a new noir sub-genre: “vehicular noir.” Some of you might quibble with me that most noir is vehicular, given the ubiquity of automobiles—and you wouldn’t be wrong.

But what I’m after is a more rarefied subgroup of films where the vehicles are large and lumbering—a kind of metaphor for the existential state of the noir hero, often caught up in grandiose schemes that are overly ambitious and recklessly expansive. Trying to pull a caper in a big rig is like trying to beat the system while wearing a blindfold AND having one hand tied behind your back.