While Film Noir is usually thought of as a genre of the 1940s and 50s, its elements; the private eye, the femme fatale, the criminal plot that goes terribly awry, have been re-imagined many times to the present day, including some of the most highly regarded films of recent years. In September, Friday Night Flicks, the Belfast Free Library’s film series will present four examples of modern interpretations of Film Noir. All films will be presented at 7 pm in the Abbott Room, free of charge.
The first presentation will be L.A. Confidential on September 7. Based on a novel by James Ellroy, L.A. Confidential was a huge success, both commercially and critically. Set in Los Angeles in 1953, it is a tale of suspense and corruption of institutions ranging from the police to Hollywood, brilliantly played by an all-star cast that included Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger in her Oscar winning role.
When two brothers (Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton) find $4.4 million in unmarked bills in a crashed airplane, they decide that they can get away with keeping it. All they need to do is follow a simple plan. What could go wrong? A Simple Plan will be shown on September 14.
The Last Seduction, the September 21 feature, was initially denied a theatrical release, but became a cult favorite on cable TV and eventually came to the theatres where it was a surprise hit. Linda Fiorentino stars as a modern femme fatale in this gripping thriller. She hatches one scheme after another, as much for pleasure as for profit.
Rounding out the month, on September 28, is Jackie Brown. Quentin Tarantino pays homage to both classic film noir and 1970’s “blaxploitation” films in this adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch. Pam Grier and Robert Forster made spectacular comebacks with their performances, sharing the screen with an all-star cast that also includes Samuel L. Jackson and Robert DeNiro.