“Where there is no light, one cannot see; and when one cannot see, his imagination starts to run wild,” cinematographer John Alton wrote in his 1945 professional how-to book, Painting with Light. “He begins to suspect that something is about to happen. In the dark there is mystery.” And a theater full of nervous moviegoers, holding their collective breath and frantically searching the screen for the mortal threat that waits somewhere in the gloaming. Alton was the Hollywood master of black-and-white photography, so it’s right and just that an Alton double-feature pulls the trigger on the noir series “I Wake Up Dreaming 2012: Les Français ont nom pour ça!”I, The Jury (6:10 and 9:45 p.m.) and The Big Combo (8 and 11:30 p.m.) are tough, blunt films that belie another Alton axiom: “Where there is light, there is hope. When one is lost in the dark of night, and suddenly discovers a ray of light in the far-off distance, he begins to feel more at ease.” Leave hope at home tonight.
May 11-24, 2012