For the love of old movies

I was fortunate enough to have a mother who likes old movies and tv programs. Though a child of the 50s, she much prefers old programing to new. I grew up watching her favorite shows Perry Mason and Charlie Chan. Though at the time I did not appreciate these particular television, and preferred the comedy of the I Love Lucy show and sci fi from the Twilight Zone, I can appreciate these now. As I grew older, I discovered such gems as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Peter Gunn, Father Knows Best, The Danny Thomas Show (Make Room for Daddy), and Dragnet. Though television was in it's infancy, I think that these shows were well written, and still entertaining today.

My mom was also a Jimmy Stuart fan. I can't tell you how many times I have seen Rear Window.  Through this exposure, I developed a love for classic cinema. So much so that when an assignment was given to my tenth grade English class to write a poem about someone deceased, I chose to write about Myrna Loy, while my classmates wrote about family members, and other figures notable in history.

Another thing I was exposed to, though I didn't realize it at the time, was film noir. One of my favorite movies as a child was Sunset Boulevard. Later I would watch Gilda, still never hearing the word noir. I did not discover what film noir was until I was out on my own. One day I was watching the Turner Classic Movie channel (my favorite). They were showcasing a noir called Clash By Night. As usual, before the movie played, Robert Osborne gave a little explanation of film noir and this movie. That was all the exposure I needed to fall head first in love with film noir - Clash by Night being my favorite, and Barbara Stanwyck being my favorite actress.

Since then, I have seen countless noirs. (I even have a check list -- told you I was anal). I have collected more dvds than I have room for. And, I go to the Noir City festival held at the Castro every year. It wasn't until I moved to San Francisco that I found others, who like me, have a passion for this genre (Yes, I am calling it a genre. Please, don't send me hate mail.) Though it has recently fallen by the wayside, we even had a noir club where we would watch a movie (or movies) one day each month.

This is the time of year I start preparing for the upcoming Noir City festival. The schedule will be announced at a special screening today. Though I am not going to that screening, I anxiously await the announcement of the 2012 line up.

If you live anywhere near San Francisco, I suggest you make a special trip to at least see one showing at the Castro. For more information, please visit Noir City.

Also, a smaller noir festival is held at the Roxie in February each year. If you happen to miss Noir City, don't miss the Roxie's noir week.

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