Thanks to the mysterious Dark City Dame for a heads up on these screenings.
The American Cinematheque will this weekend (Sept 6-7) at The Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, screen four films starring French screen legend, Jean Gabin, under the banner Jean Gabin: The World’s Coolest Movie Star:
The Sicilian Clan (Le Clan Des Siciliens), 1969, 20th Century Fox, 118 Min
Moontide¸ 1942, 20th Century Fox, 94 Min
House On The Waterfront (Port Du Désir), 1955, 94 Min. Dir. Edmund T. Gréville
Grisbi (Touchez Pas Au Grisbi), 1954, Rialto Pictures, 88 Min. Dir. Jacques Becker
The full schedule and trailers are available here.
Apropos Jean Gabin – my favorite French tough guy – he starred in most of the poetic-realist French movies of the 30s, which were really the pre-cursors of Hollywood noir. As Geoff Mayer and Brian McDonnell say in their book, Encyclopedia of Film Noir (Greenwood Press 2007): “in these movies an ironical poetry was found in the everyday: hence the term poetic realism. The iconography of the cycle included the shiny cobblestones of nighttime Parisian streets (the faubourgs), the shadowy interiors of neon-lit nightclubs, and the moody, haunted, doom-laden faces of actors such as Jean Gabin. As well as inspiring Hollywood film-makers, who viewed them admiringly, some of these French films were actually remade as American noirs, for example, Le Chienne (1931) was remade as Scarlet Street (1945), La bête humaine (1938) as Human Desire (1954), Pépé Le Moko (1937) as Algiers (1938), Le Jour se lève as The Long Night (1947), and Le Corbeau (1943) as The Thirteenth Letter (1951).”
I saw La bête humaine a few years back and it is everything we would expect in a film noir of the 40s with a really downbeat ending.