March 24, 2018
The Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room
Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 W. 129 St.,
New York, NY 10027
1944 / 84 min / b/w
Dir. John Brahm / Scr. Barré Lyndon
Cast: Laird Cregar, Merle Oberon, George Sanders
Paris release: Jan. 22, 1947
Adapted from: The Lodger (1913) by Marie Belloc Lowndes
35mm print courtesy of 20th Century Fox
This screening 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
"A few years before the war, American cinema had launched a new formula: the costume drama situated between 1830 and 1910. This was the fashion for the 'period film.' […] The years 1944-45 witnessed the conjunction of this style with the noir series. A twofold explanation for this could easily be found: the noir atmosphere signified renewal for the period film model, and the faded charm of the setting provided an alibi for film noir. […]
In 1944 John Brahm made, in The Lodger [a remake of the 1927 Alfred Hitchcock picture], an engaging film in which atmosphere was created by the lighting, by the London background of highly sinister furnished rooms, by the pallid face of a killer with limpid eyes, Laird Cregar, by a judicious use of water and the river, and by immense discretion in the violence. We weren’t present at Jack the Ripper’s murders. They were suggested. But then that woman’s expression at the approach of the killer, that body quaking with fear, were more gripping than the killing itself."
– Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton, Panorama du film noir américain, 1941-1953
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 email@example.com