Due to the history of the industry, it’s rare for a great film of classic Hollywood to be directed by a woman. Thanks to our friends at Miami Beach Cinematheque, a screening of Ida Lupino’s The Hitch-Hiker (1953) is just around the corner. As one of the few true classic noir films, The Hitch-Hiker provides a quintessential noir experience while still having a different story to tell.
Join FIU film studies director Andrew Strycharski at Miami Beach Cinematheque tonight (11/14) at 7:00 PM for a screening of the classic film noir The Killers (1946). Andrew Strycharski’s introductory comments will focus on film noir story structure, the shock of the present and piecing together the past, and the experience of European (and especially Jewish) immigrants and exiles in the aftermath of World War II.
If you have never seen a noir film, now’s the perfect chance. The Miami Jewish Film Festival and Miami Beach Cinematheque are celebrating film noir with the screening of three classics in November, beginning with Mildred Pierce on November 7th.
Why Film Noir?
Dr. Michael Gillespie of FIU’s English department, who is currently teaching a film noir course, describes it as a genre “that gives examples of individuals who succeed in resisting dominant authority and provides viewers with an example of someone who sustains his or her integrity.” In other words they are movies about rebels. Selfish, sexy people working for their own gain, these are slick talking, criminally clever characters who never fail to impress.
In the spirit of Halloween, our film club, Film Initiative Underground, and the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, are teaming up to bring a free screening of David Fincher’s heart pumping crime-thriller, Zodiac (2007), to FIU’s MMC Campus. Based on the real-life murders of the Zodiac Killer, Zodiac is a brilliant and meticulously assembled story about obsession, and features great performances by a talented cast.
The tragedy of comedy films is that very few hold up over the years. In many cases, a comedy can fall into the abyss of awkward silences, and stilted, forced laughs. Thankfully, such a fate hasn’t come over Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz (2007). With Coral Gables Art Cinema screening the film later this month, now was a good time for me to experience the film. I can comfortably say that as the second entry in Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy, Hot Fuzz sits comfortably between Shaun of the Dead (2004) and The World’s End (2013) as one of the great comedy films produced in the last few years.
To apply an overused turn of phrase, good mystery stories are typically not about the destination, but rather the journey. Despite this, the ending should still be a satisfying reveal, or else the journey would’ve been for nothing. Unfortunately based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name, Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express could’ve been an okay film, had it not managed to fumble its way to a disappointing ending.