January 21, 2012

Three Strangers On-Screen in San Francisco, Jan. 28, 2012

In a recent interview with Sean Martinfield of the San Francisco Sentinal, Eddie Muller lamented the slow death of 35mm.

When the Film Noir Foundation decided to add Three Strangers to the schedule of this year’s Noir City film noir festival, they discovered that a viewable 35mm print of the 1945 Warner Bros. movie did not exist.

But they didn’t scratch it off the list.

They opened their wallets and funded the preservation effort themselves. “I want people to see that movie now,” says Muller; “I want that film back in circulation now.”

Peter Lorre fans attending the FNF’s Noir City festival at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre this week will get that chance – Three Strangers will be shown three times on Saturday, January 28, 2012.

The annual festival will run 10 days, beginning Friday, January 20, and ending with an all-day Dashiell Hammett Marathon, including the 1931 and 1941 versions of The Maltese Falcon, on Sunday, January 29. The complete schedule can be found on the Noir City website.

Lorre films will be shown on these dates and times:

Three Strangers:
Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 – 1 pm, 5 pm, and 9 pm

The Maltese Falcon:
Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 – 9 pm

Tickets may be purchased through the Brown Paper Tickets website. A Film Noir Passport is also available for $120. Perks for the Passport include a discount over buying all the individual double-feature tickets and a separate entrance to the Castro, as well as early admission.

The Castro Theatre is located at 429 Castro Street, at Market Street, in San Francisco, California. Directions to the Castro, as well as public transportation options, can be found on the cinema’s website. Parking is available in two small lots and on the street near the cinema.

So what will be the fate of Three Strangers when the Noir City festival ends?

The Film Noir Foundation plans to donate the preserved print to the UCLA Film and Television Archive – where it will reside with many other Lorre films and television programs, such as Crime and Punishment, Casbah, and episodes of Climax! and Checkmate.

And if Three Strangers does well at Noir Fest, perhaps Warner Bros. will be encouraged to release it to DVD . . . In a Lorre & Greenstreet box-set?

January 8, 2012

M On-Screen at the Alamo Drafthouse, Jan. 10, 2012

On Tuesday, Jan. 10, the Austin Film Society will begin their Essential Cinema series “The Great Escape: Three European Émigré Filmmakers” – highlighting the work of directors Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau and Luis Buñuel – with a showing of Fritz Lang’s first sound movie, M.

AFS Director of Programming Chale Nafus and Charles Ramirez-Berg will curate the series.

All films will be shown at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, located at 1120 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas, in the Lamar Plaza shopping center.

M will begin at 7 pm. For more information, please call the Alamo Drafthouse at (512) 476-1320.

Special pricing for the Essential Cinema series is $8 general admission and $5 for AFS Members. Admission is free for Season Pass Holders and Premiere Members. Tickets for M may be purchased on-line through the AFS website. On-line ticketing closes at 3 p.m. on the day of the show. Any remaining tickets will be available at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. For more ticketing information, please call the AFS office at (512) 322-0145.

Parking is available in the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar’s own parking lot. Directions are located on the cinema’s website.

Released in 1931, M was also the first sound movie of Peter Lorre, who had made his debut two years earlier in the silent German film Die verschwundene Frau (The Missing Wife). The making of M is chronicled in The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre by Stephen D. Youngkin, who interviewed Fritz Lang and others who knew and worked with Lorre throughout his life and career.

The Lost One is now available in paperback, as well as the Kindle, Nook, and hard-bound.

January 5, 2012

Casablanca Opens FOLA Film Series, Jan. 5, 2012

The Friends of the Ludlow Auditorium – FOLA – will begin their annual “First Thursday Night Movie” series for 2012 on Jan. 5. On the schedule this year are two Warner Bros. movies co-starring Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre.

Casablanca (1942) will open the series on Jan. 5, and The Maltese Falcon (1941) is scheduled for May 3, 2012.

Each film in the series will begin at 7 pm on the first Thursday of the month. Admission is free, and donations are appreciated. For more information, please call (802) 228-7239.

The Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium is located at 37 Depot Street, Ludlow, Vermont.

During his contract at Warner Bros., Peter Lorre worked with Bogart in four movies, with a fifth and final film, Beat the Devil, in 1954. Their on- and off-screen friendship is chronicled in The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (2005), by Stephen D. Youngkin, who interviewed many of the people who knew and worked with the two actors.

The Lost One is now available in paperback, as well as the Nook, Kindle, and hard-back.