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The Film Noir Foundation Descends On The Music Box

By Scott Lucas in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 23, 2013 6:00PM

2013_08_film_noir_festival.jpg The 5th edition of the Film Noir Foundation's annual weeklong celebration of hard bitten crime films opens tonight at the Music Box. All 17 movies are in 35mm—with most being restored or archival prints—and are cracking examples of this uniquely American genre of films (that is, until we handed it off to the French … before they handed it back to us … and so on ...).

The fest kicks off with two films by blacklisted director, Cy Endfield (Hell Drivers at 6 p.m. and Try and Get Me! at 8:30 p.m.)—and what could be more appropriate than starting off a festival of cinematic cynicism with a director from the blacklist?

My favorites from last year included the ridiculously entertaining The Window, Nicholas Ray's beautiful On Dangerous Ground, and (for my money) the best and most batshit crazy noir ever made: Kiss Me Deadly. This year looks to be just as much fun, with the highlight promising to be on Saturday with something that most purists just can't seem to get their head around—a series of noir films in Technicolor (Niagara, Violent Saturday, and the outright perverse genius of Leave Her To Heaven).

Tickets for individual films are $10, and $15 for double features. You can also get a festival pass for $75 that will allow admission to all the films.

And one more thing: On top of being the best theater in Chicago (I will accept arguments for the Siskel Film Center), the Music Box is the perfect place to see these classics from the '40s and '50s. Provided no one has their goddamn phone on, it's the closest thing to time travel.