Last night was another fantastic line up at Noir City Chicago 6. The Music Box Theater, in conjunction with the Film Noir Foundation, showcased two indispensable noirs: CAGED (1950) and TENSION (1949). God, what a line up. I don't know how many times I've watched these two classics, but last night was my first time to see them on the big screen and they did not disappoint. CAGED is simply a masterpiece--an all-time, top ten, noir hall of fame masterpiece. Crime films really don't get any better. And while TENSION has less unity and formal perfection (at least at the screenplay level), it is a shimmering jewel--and an enduring testament to the glorious Audrey Totter.
I've written about both movies before. Here's more on CAGED. And here's something on TENSION.
The festival is going great. It kicked off with a magnificent restoration of TOO LATE FOR TEARS (for my money, the best thing the Film Noir Foundation has done is to restore this movie), with the wonderful ROADBLOCK as a second feature. I had to miss a couple of days, unfortunately, but Sunday night I caught Jean-Pierre Melville's rarely seen 1959 TWO MEN IN MANHATTAN.
Alan Rode has been doing a crackerjack job introducing the films all week, and tonight the Czar of Noir himself, Eddie Muller, takes over. The remaining films all look terrific--including a double feature of Losey's 1951 M, followed by The BLACK VAMPIRE, an Argentinian feminist reworking of the M story. Here's the full schedule.