Lesser-Known Nightmares

There are no second chances in film noir. Hell, the first chance is a scam, a hundred-to-one shot, a fool’s errand or, if the sucker is lucky, a blind alley. There’s no learning from past mistakes, no returning to the scene of the crime or the site of that first kiss. (They’re the same thing, most of the time.) Defying the odds, film programmer and curio connoisseur extraordinaire Elliot Lavine heads back to the Mission District theater where he made his rep in the ’90s. He’s packin’, Jack, armed to the lapels with two weeks’ worth of slick-street nightmares. "I Wake Up Dreaming: The Haunted World of the B Film Noir" unearths lesser-known titles while heralding the release of Lavine’s upcoming book. A few familiar names jump out — action director Anthony Mann (represented by Railroaded), actor-as-blunt-instrument Lawrence Tierney (The Devil Thumbs a Ride), and ruthless writers David Goodis (The Burglar) and Cornell Woolrich (The Guilty) — but keep your eye on the mugs and dames you never heard of. What’s that? May is for romance and al fresco eye-locking? You’re in the wrong city, pal.
May 14-28, 2009

 
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