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David Lynch meets Czechoslovak noir at the Noir Film Festival


- Different shades of the noir genre to be seen across the history of cinema at the 12th century Křivoklát Castle in the Czech Republic

David Lynch meets Czechoslovak noir at the Noir Film Festival
A previous edition of the Noir Film Festival at the Křivoklát Castle

The Noir Film Festival in the Czech Republic, focused exclusively on the different forms and shapes of the noir genre, is bracing for its 8th edition despite the unstable situation. The upcoming edition will explore the strange worlds of David Lynch inspired by noir classics, such as Blue Velvet (1986), Wild at Heart (1990), Lost Highway (1997) and Mulholland Drive (2001). Besides American noir, the festival will also focus on Italian takes on the genre in Pietro Germi’s Four Ways Out (1951) and noir reborn as giallo in horror thrillers The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) and Deep Red (1975).

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Czechoslovak noir retains a traditional spot at the festival and the 8th edition will introduce Otakar Vávra’s The Magic House (1939), example of Czechoslovak neorealism in At the Terminus (1957) by Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos, Miroslav Cikán’s last film The End of the Road (1959) and Vladimír Bahna’s St. Elizabeth Square (1965) starring Slovak actress Emília Vášaryová, who will be this year’s Noir Film Festival’s patron.

The transformations of the genre through time will map the festival through the motif of “lovers on the run”. The selection of films from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s following the evolution of archetypal protagonists include Nicholas Ray’s feature debut They Live by Night (1948) and Gun Crazy (1950) by Joseph H. Lewis, Arthur Penn’s classic Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Desperate (1947) by Anthony Mann and Terrence Malick’s Badlands (1973). The retrospective section will zoom in on the works of director Anthony Mann and cinematographer John Alton, most notably docu-noir T-Men (1947), western noir Devil’s Doorway (1950) and dark drama Raw Deal (1948). Writer Patricia Highsmith will have a special section dedicated to film adaptations of her works, including Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1950).

The Noir Film Festival will pay a special tribute to Kirk Douglas, who passed away this year, and the festival will once again pay tribute to a Hollywood film noir icon, this time Claire Trevor, a femme fatale from the Chandler adaptation Murder, My Sweet (1940). Václav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird [+see also:
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interview: Václav Marhoul
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(2019) will be screened after the director revealed an exclusive sneak peek at the festival last year before the film’s official world premiere in the 2019 Venice Film Festival’s main competition.

The 8th edition of the Noir Film Festival will take place August 20-23 at Křivoklát Castle, in the Czech Republic. 

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