Friday, January 20, 2017

Jason celebrates a Noir City Christmas

Ah Noir City! It starts tonight, but I'm just now finally getting around to writing up their special December show, in which they announce the program, say a bit about the theme (heist capers!,) and play a couple of movies.

CASH ON DEMAND (1961): Good old black and white, a very English bank heist, all manners and threats rather than shoot-outs. Peter Cushing plays a bank manager Harry Fordyce and AndrĂ© Morell plays Colonel Gore Hepburn. Under the guise of being a bank inspector, he weasels his way to being alone with Fordyce, and robs the bank using only a telephone. A telephone with Fordyce's terrified wife and child on the other end of the line. Fordyce must do everything he says, when he says them, or his associates won't get the signal to not kill his family. Tense, exciting, and top notch acting from the days when Peter Cushing was actual flesh and blood and not a CGI recreation!

THE ICE HARVEST (2005): Another theme of the festival, Czar of Noir Eddie Muller is taking us through a bit of tour through time, from the classic Noir of the late 40's and 50's right up through modern neo-noir. Of course that annoys some purist, but my film gluttony has always been far from pure, so I'm looking forward to it. Anyway, I actually remember being one of the few people to see THE ICE HARVEST when it first came out. And everyone once in a while I still think of the recurring graffiti "As falls Wichita, so falls Wichita Falls." But that's all that had stuck with me. Well damn, re-watching it I realize it has a lot more to offer. It starts with stolen mob money. We don't know how it was stolen, this is a heist film not about the heist, but about the getaway. Charlie Arglist (John Cusack) and Vic Cavanaugh (Billy Bob Thornton) have the money, and different plans on how to get away with it. So Charlie goes on to have the toughest night of his life trying to wrap up loose ends, survive, and escape. It's actually a great little film. And I really appreciated Oliver Platt playing a drunken loser but the only one who truly loves Charlie for Charlie, not for what he can get out of him. Sorry for the spoiler, but I found it wonderfully endearing that they end up escaping together.

Total Running Time: 176 minutes
My Total Minutes: 439,343
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