James Naremore: The Origins of Film Noir
Wednesday March 21, 2018
7:30 - 7:30PM
Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 W. 129 St.
New York, NY 10027
This free keynote address is part of The Inaugural Dr. Saul and Dorothy Kit Film Noir Festival
The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of: Paris 1946 and American Film Noir
Programmed by Rob King, Film and Media Studies
James Naremore is Chancellors’ Professor Emeritus at Indiana University and the author of the award winning More Than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts (rev. ed. 2008). He has taught and lectured at numerous universities in the US and abroad and has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Gallery of Art, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Among his many other writings on film are The Magic World of Orson Welles, Acting in the Cinema, The Films of Vincente Minnelli, On Kubrick, and, most recently, Charles Burnett: A Cinema of Symbolic Knowledge.
Naremore will discuss the notorious problem of defining film noir, showing that it’s both an important cinematic legacy and an idea we’ve projected onto the past. The French originated the idea of American film noir in the decade after World War II, for reasons specific to their own culture; but popular memory of the films – often partial and inaccurate – has also been shaped by Hollywood itself, especially in the 1970s and ’80s. The meaning of the term has changed over time, and many generalizations about it are incorrect. Even so, Hollywood’s dark films of the 1940s have lost none of their fascination and remain a national treasure.
Free and open to the public.
Reception to follow keynote address by James Naremore.
About the Dr. Saul and Dorothy Kit Film Noir Festival
Paris 1946. The war is over and American films are once again in Parisian theaters. The French immediately notice a shift in the sensibility of Hollywood’s crime films. They call it noir.
This festival—the first in a ten-year series devoted to the legacy of film noir—returns us to that pivotal moment in film history some seven decades ago. For its inaugural year, the Kit Film Noir Festival will present eight of the films that screened in France that season and inspired the label film noir. Most films will be shown in 35mm.
This festival is funded by a generous gift from alumnus Gordon Kit (Columbia College ’76), in honor of his parents.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org