Presented by Mid-Century Productions

Quadruple Exposure: 4 Decades of French Noir

Don Malcolm's drive continues—to 101 rare French films noirs screened since his landmark THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT festival burst into prominence in November 2014. As has been proven several times over, French noir is indeed a "lost continent" of cinema that changes our perception of film noir. Those who ignore it do so at their own peril!

FRENCH 5½ starting on Friday, May 10th at San Francisco's Roxie Theatre) confirms that any time of year is a good time for noir, and Don has selected 13 features and one powerful short film from all four decades of France's unjustly maligned cinéma de papa (1930s-1960s), during which time the French invented film noir, created fascinating and distinct sub-types, and created masterpieces and first-rate films in far greater profusion than anyone knew. Until now.

As always, familiar faces in unfamiliar films are front and center in FRENCH 5½: Gabin (as Commissioner Maigret); Moreau (impossibly young, but carrying all the seeds of her future persona); Signoret (demonstrating that middle-aged gravitas is no match for amour fou); Morgan (in a shatteringly noir love story from Cornell Woolrich that uses all of her unique expressiveness); Arletty (in her first role after being shunned in the post-war era of retribution); and, against type, Fernandel (the popular rubber-faced comedian who proves amazingly effective as a man besieged by forces beyond his control).


Tickets for THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT 5½ can be ordered from the program pages on this site, as well as from the Roxie Theatre website. Save $$ and see all these amazing films with an all-festival pass, available for purchase at the Roxie box office. (You'll thank us later...) *If you've not already done so, join our mailing list to receive updates and subscriber-exclusive discount offers.

Roxie Theater - San FranciscoSan Francisco's Roxie Theatre is located at 3117 16th St., between Valencia & Guerrero, one block from 16th & Mission BART. BOX OFFICE: 415.863.1087

Plus the dawn of film noir itself, in two Maigret adaptations (1932's Night at the Crossroads and 1933's The Head of A Man) that show how great directors (Jean Renoir and Julien Duvivier) manufactured the templates for atmosphere and character that combined to create "noir" as we know it. Add to that an impossibly rare short film ("Jean's Return") by Henri-Georges Clouzot, featuring the one and only Louis Jouvet in an unforgettable performance.

How much longer can this go on? Don't wait for the answer to such a question! Immerse yourself instead in yet another incredible collection of film noir—another priceless gift from the folks who invented it. Well before Nino Frank coined his famous term, THE FRENCH (already) HAD A NAME FOR IT. See its range and power on full display...starting on May10th!


Thanks to all who attended our inaugural screening of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LOST CONTINENT this past week—Louis Jouvet got the highest possible marks as the acting teacher in The Curtain Rises, and his students put on a great show as well. A good time was had by all!

Our next entry in our "soft open" is 14 July, which will screen Thursday July 11 and again on Sunday July 14 (highly appropriate, n'est-ce pas?). It's a delightful Parisian comedy from the great René Clair, with equal dollops of romance and slapstick, danger and belly laughs. MCP subscribers will receive a special email when tickets go on sale in June, so if you've haven't done so, sign up now—seats in the Little Roxie are limited, and you will not want to miss this fabulous, frothy classic...back on the big screen where it belongs!

↑ VIiew the FRENCH 5½ trailer

Maigret Sets a Trap - Maigret tend un piege

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MidCentury ProductionsA "boutique" programming venture designing "mini film festivals," MIDCENTURY PRODUCTIONS features films from cinema's most explosive three decades—the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. We program original festivals and work with organizations and individuals to craft singular programming that illuminates the hidden corners of these three decades.

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