No, I’m not talking about the kind of intimacy you may be thinking about, but rather a sense of community among film noir fans. The Noir City festivals are wonderful events, allowing fans the opportunity not only to see great films and support the Film Noir Foundation, but also to share in each other’s lives.
I was delighted to catch up with some old friends and people I hadn’t seen in awhile: Casey (Noir Girl) and her lovely mom Sylvia, Dave from New Jersey, Margaret from Chicago, Stefan, Haggai, Jacki, Catherine (who never seems to age!) at the Noir City Booth of Wonders, and many others. (I know Michael Kronenberg was there, but I’m sorry I missed him. Hope to see him next week.) And what a delight it is to have people introduce themselves, telling me how much they enjoy my YouTube channel or my writing in The Dark Pages. Although we’re meeting for the first time, we have so much to talk about relating to film noir, theaters, shared experiences, and just plain life.
And of course there’s Eddie Muller, celebrating his birthday with us yesterday. It’s always a pleasure to see you, Eddie.
Oddly enough, this morning I was reading about the Cooperative and Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers, an 1874 group that included artists Monet, Degas, Renoir, Pissarro, and others. This organization was formed not only as an independent group of creators shunned by the Salon in Paris, it was also a community, a support system for those who did not understand the Impressionistic works these artists were creating. The image above is of Jean Frédéric Bazille’s Studio; 9 Rue de la Condamine (1870), which depicts this fellowship, a group of people “at ease with one another…” with “no apparent hierarchy...”*
Many of the people at Noir City are creators, others supporters of film noir, and all of us are fans. It is an important and thriving community, one that we want to see grow and flourish.
One of the greatest pleasures of Noir City comes from seeing the torch passed to younger audiences who are just discovering film noir or classic movies in general. One of my friends brought his teenage niece to see The Argyle Secrets (1948). I saw other people there in their teens and 20s. Such moments are thrilling, and I hope we see more of it.
That’s what the film noir community (or any arts community) is all about: sharing, celebrating what we have in common rather than fighting over what divides us. The Noir City festivals create opportunities for building a thriving supportive community. I hope you’ll consider celebrating that community with us. The Noir City DC festival runs from October 14-27. Find out more here.