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Darkness at Noon 

Wednesday, May 5 2010
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Film noir was made for San Francisco’s rainy, cheerless winters, when the sight of some other poor mug’s misfortune goes a long way toward brightening our day. The merry month of May, on the other hand, doesn’t seem particularly well suited to low-rent crime stories and corruption-filled sagas of thwarted dreams. This is the season of new romances and fresh hopes, rebirths and reboots. Wait, you believe that? Don’t be a sucker. Veteran film programmer Elliot Lavine knows the score, and so will you after the two-week blowout, "I Still Wake Up Dreaming." Digging deep into the murky B-movie vaults, he has unearthed 28 long-unseen works brimming with sin, treachery, razor-edged one-liners, and cold, lethal lead. The films stretch from the gray war years (William Castle’s The Mark of the Whistler, May 16) to the stylin’ Rat Pack–JFK era (Johnny Cool, May 22), but they share a common, cynical disdain for patiently climbing the ladder one rung at a time. In a world where the cards are stacked and the dice are loaded — every month of the year — only a fool plays by the rules.
May 14-27; June 4-7, 2010

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Michael Fox

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