$10 (booking fees may apply)
11 May - 8 July 2018
Voyage Du Noir: Festival of Global Film Noir

The winter chill is settling in and the nights are getting longer, an atmosphere that lends itself to screening the best of what literally translates as ‘dark film’ on the big screen.

Film noir was a term first used in 1946 by French Film critic Nino Frank to describe specific Hollywood cinema of the period. Now identified as a mixture of hard boiled depression era crime stories with the stylised aesthetics from German expressionism, these films were often brutal, sexualised, nihilistic and strangely dreamlike.

The Voyage du Noir explores how these Noirish traits changed and acclimatised based on the country, the context and the artists behind the film. The result is a selection of cinema that all extrapolate beyond their hardboiled crime stories into perceptive examinations of border tensions, wartime existence, domestic terrorism, life under fascist regimes and working class struggle.

Some later films have also been included in the noir cycle, when avant garde movements such as the Japanese and French New Waves get playful with the genre, marking the entrance not only of a new generation of filmmakers but also the winding down of the classical noir movement.

Immerse yourself in the darker side of human experience in the various countries represented in the festival. You will be witness to a fascinating array of contrasts and similarities in a genre that has disseminated all over the world and influenced renowned filmmakers for years.

Festival Timetable

Le Corbeau - Friday 11 May, 8.30pm and Sunday 10 June, 12pm
Remy Germain (Pierre Fresnay) is a doctor in a French town who becomes the focus of a vicious smear campaign, as letters accusing him of having an affair and performing unlawful abortions are mailed to village leaders. The mysterious writer, who signs each letter as "Le Corbeau" (The Raven) soon targets the whole town, exposing everyone's dark secrets. This allegorical film was highly controversial at the time of its release and was banned in France after the Liberation.

Night and The City - Sunday 13 May, 12pm and Friday 19 June, 8.30pm
Two-bit hustler Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) longs for "a life of ease and plenty." Trailed by an inglorious history of go-nowhere schemes, he tries to hatch a lucrative plan with a famous wrestler. But there is no easy money in this underworld of shifting alliances, bottomless graft, and pummeled flesh. Fabian soon learns the horrible price of his ambition. Luminously shot in the streets of London while Hollywood blacklisters back home were closing in on director Jules Dassin, Night and the City, also starring Gene Tierney, is film noir of the first order and one of Dassin's crowning achievements

The Big Sleep - Friday 18 May, 8.30pm and Saturday 23 June, 12pm
Private investigator Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) is hired by General Sternwood to help resolve the gambling debts of his wild young daughter, Carmen (Martha Vickers). Sternwood's older daughter, Vivian (Lauren Bacall), provides assistance when she implies that the situation is more complex, and also involves casino owner (John Ridgely) and a recently disappeared family friend. A notoriously convoluted classic, filled with trademark Howard Hawks wit and often considered the greatest of the “Bogie and Bacall” collaborations.

Touch of Evil - Saturday 19 May, 12pm and Friday 6 July, 8.30pm ​
Mike Vargas, a Mexican narcotics investigator, sets out to uncover the facts surrounding a car bomb that has killed a wealthy American businessman on the US side of the border. Despite the awkward casting of Charlton Heston as Mexican, the film radically subverts traditional presumptions of innocence and Hollywood hero, in the process also confronting a precariously unbalanced Mexico-U.S relationship based on assumed authority and barely-veiled racism. As was the fate of many Welles movies, the cut the studio released ignored the director’s recommendations. Academy Cinemas will be screening the 1998 cut reassembled based on his memo to the studio, widely believed to be the most closely aligned with his wishes​.

Death Of A Cyclist - Saturday 26 May, 8.30pm and Sunday 1 July, 12pm
Upper-class geometry professor Juan and his wealthy, married mistress, Maria José, driving back from a late-night rendezvous, accidentally hit a cyclist and run. The resulting, exquisitely shot tale of guilt, infidelity, and blackmail reveals the wide gap between the rich and the poor in Spain, and surveys the corrupt ethics of a society seduced by decadence. Juan Antonio Bardem’s charged melodrama Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un ciclista) was a direct attack on 1950s Spanish society under Franco’s rule. Though it was affected by the dictates of censorship, its sting could never be dulled.

Obsession - Sunday 27 May, 12pm and Friday 29 June, 8.30pm
Young drifter Gino (Massimo Girotti) stops at a diner/gas station, where he is immediately attracted to Giovana (Clara Calamai), the young wife of the owner, Giussepe (Juan de Landa). Frustrated by the struggle of working at the dreary diner with the unappealing Giuseppe, Giovana seduces Gino, then convinces him to help murder her husband. For many, the film is the first neorealist film with its unromanticized view of rural Italian working class life and its use of close-ups only during moments of intense emotion. When Obsession screened it provoked outrage from the Church and Fascist authorities. Every existing print of the film comes from a duplicate negative that director Luchino Visconti hid from the Fascist government who had tried to destroy the film.

Odd Man Out - Saturday 2 June, 8.30pm and Sunday 17 June, 12pm​
Taking place largely over the course of one tense night, Carol Reed’s psychological noir, set in an unnamed Belfast, stars James Mason as a revolutionary ex-con leading a robbery that goes horribly wrong. Injured and hunted by the police, he seeks refuge throughout the city, while the woman he loves (Kathleen Ryan) searches for him among the shadows. Reed and cinematographer Robert Krasker (who would collaborate again on The Third Man) create images of stunning depth for this fierce, spiritual depiction of a man’s ultimate confrontation with himself.

Branded To Kill - Sunday 3 June, 12pm and Friday 22 June, 8.30pm​
When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his studio, he was promptly fired. Branded to Kill tells the ecstatically bent story of a yakuza assassin with a fetish for sniffing steamed rice (the chipmunk-cheeked superstar Joe Shishido) who botches a job and ends up a target himself. This is Suzuki at his most extreme—the flabbergasting pinnacle of his sixties pop-art aesthetic and absurdist cult classic that inspired Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch and Park Chan-wook.​

Elevator to the Gallows - Friday 8 June, 8.30pm and Sunday 8 July, 12pm​
For his feature debut, twenty-four-year-old Louis Malle brought together a mesmerizing performance by Jeanne Moreau, evocative cinematography by Henri Decaë, and a now legendary jazz score by Miles Davis. Taking place over the course of one restless Paris night, Malle’s richly atmospheric crime thriller stars Moreau and Maurice Ronet as lovers whose plan to murder her husband (his boss) goes awry, setting off a chain of events that seals their fate. A career touchstone for its director and female star, Elevator to the Gallows was an astonishing beginning to Malle’s eclectic body of work, a predecessor for the Nouvelle Vague movement and established Moreau as one of the most captivating actors ever to grace the screen.

Book Your Tickets Here

$2 per hour to a max of $12 on weekends and a $12 flat rate for weekday evenings at The Civic car park. Find out more

Last updated: 11 June 2019