Noirvember 2018 ends today and while it was a good one, it was also bittersweet. My focus for this year’s event was both British noir titles and lesser-known movies I hadn’t yet discovered. Nothing flashy, no high-profile titles, just films I’ve wanted to discover and some that were suggested by others during the course of the month.
I ended up with 10 Brit noirs, two from Japan, one from Spain, two rewatches (The Prowler and The Chase), and more. I was delighted to have two guests join me this year: Casey, for a look at The Gangster (1947) and Kristina, for a discussion of The Prowler (1951). These collaborations were so much fun, I hope we can do them again (and not just for Noirvember).
A couple of the movies I watched were totally unplanned. I’d never before seen The Last Seduction (1994), so when it cropped up on FilmStruck, I knew I had to work it into Noirvember. Also when I saw that Vince Keenan tweeted about The Castle of Sand (1974), a Japanese noir I’d never heard of, I had to watch it.
One of my Noirvember titles actually didn’t appear on my website, but I provided a link to Set the Tape, which published my review of the Brit noir Mine Own Executioner (1947). Set the Tape also published another one of my articles which I’ll tell you about in a moment.
I also tried something different that I hope to repeat next year. I asked my readers to vote for one new-to-me film noir to include in my Noirvember. The top vote-getter was The Lady Gambles (1949), which arrived just in time for inclusion in this year’s list. Of those who voted for that film, Jenifer S. was the lucky winner of a copy of Foster Hirsch’s book The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir. Thanks to all who voted!
I had a great time and I hope you did - and will continue to - as well. Noirvember may be over, but the love of film noir doesn’t have to end.
One of the things you can do to keep it going is to attend a Noir City film noir festival. In an article I wrote for the website Set the Tape called “Noir City - When Noirvember is Not Enough,” I discussed my own journey which lead me from watching film noir at home to the Noir City DC festival, all the way to the flagship festival in San Francisco which next happens in January 2019 for Noir City 17.
While this year’s Noirvember was going on, movie fans were also trying to come to terms with the end of FilmStruck, the unparalleled streaming service that began two years ago. Finding time to keep up with Noirvember during FilmStruck’s final month was difficult. I watched as many film noir titles as I could during that month, but time simply ran out on many of the titles on my FilmStruck watchlist. Along with thousands of others, I hold out hope that the new streaming service from Criterion will deliver some excellent film offerings.
So, what did you discover this Noirvember, either through my lists, someone else’s, or just your own personal viewing? I hope to hear from you. And don’t stop here; let’s keep the film noir love going.