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SF360: Noir City5, fun with Dicks and Janes

SF360: Noir City5, fun with Dicks and Janes

The screen comes painted in startling collisions of black-and-white, but the truth is never anything but gray. It’s classic film noir–courtesy of Noir City5, the fifth edition of San Francisco’s prominent annual noir fest–and its indelible contrasts color the world to this day in iconic images as definitive as the light cut by a Venetian blind. The term film noir, at least as applied to its original or “classic” phase, came along to define a genre only after the fact. But as aficionados and even novices know, it more or less neatly encompasses a rash of Hollywood crime stories, often B movie fare, that dealt in moody, sultry ways with the shadow side of the otherwise fluorescent American landscape of the 1940s and early ’50s. Robert Avila reports.

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