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ATTN Twin Cities film fans!

Brit Noir at The Heights Theater

The Twin Cities have been hurting for some good old-fashioned revival shit for a while now.

When I was in middle and high school (this is way back in the late nineties/early 00’s, mind you), the Oak Street Cinema was the greatest place in my nerdy little world. There was always something going on there. Retrospectives of the work of great directors like Fassbinder, Kurosawa, Ford, and Hitchcock. Film noir, Hong Kong action, and French Golden Age film festivals that would last for weeks. I had the privilege of seeing films like Out of the Past, Taxi Driver, and Pulp Fiction for the first time the way they were intended to be seen: on the big screen.

The Oak Street closed recently but Minnesota Film Arts http://www.mnfilmarts.org/ have taken up a screen at the St. Anthony Main, kicking shit off right with the very exceptional That Evening Sun, a film starring Hal Holbrook that’s based on a William Gay story. But, thing is, last few years that’s what the Oak Street had been doing – playing new movies that the Landmark Theatres didn’t pick up. That’s commendable and all, but MN Film Arts has been short-changing their revival programming for damn near a decade. Basically, old movie fans hoping to catch classics the way they were intended to be seen in the Twin Cities have long been straight-up S.O.L. for far too long.

But the Heights Theater http://www.heightstheater.com/ has been picking up the slack a little as of late with their Brit Noir series. They’ve been showing classic British noir films from the the black-and-white days every Monday for the past few weeks. If you want to support what they’re doing, check out these upcoming flicks toot-sweet:

Feb 15 @ 7:30 – GASLIGHT (1944) dir by George Cukor

Of the three films left in the series, Gaslight is by far the most iconic. The story of a woman who may or may not be going crazy, this film is marked by a genuinely creepy atmosphere, strong performances by Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, and a killer ending. Since to “gaslight” someone has become a part of the pop culture lexicon, you may already know what the film is about. If so, no worries – Gaslight holds up just fine.

Feb 22 @ 7:30 – BRIGHTON ROCK (1947) dir by John Boulting

Brighton Rock was one of Graham Greene’s pulpiest and most thrilling novels, and this adaptation, starring Richard Attenborough, captures much of the tension of the book. It’s about Pinkie Brown, a vicious murderer trying to keep his crime concealed while his small-time empire crumbles around him. It should also be noted that 2010 will see the release of another adaptation of the Greene novel, this time with John Hurt, Helen Mirren and Carey Mulligan.

Mar 1 @7:30 – IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY (1947) dir by Robert Hamer

Googie Withers stars in the last film of this series as a woman whose ex-boyfriend has busted out of jail and asks her to house him. Thing is, she’s got a square husband now who isn’t exactly down for such an arrangement. It Always Rains on Sunday is mainly remembered for its surprisingly stark representation of post-WWII London and some kick ass cinematography – not to mention a notably intense finale.

So, my fellow ‘sotans, you’d be well-fucking-served keeping your Monday nights open for a while. I mean, what else were you gonna do? You can only shovel snow so much before your neighbors just think you’re hopelessly anal.

The Nerd of Noir is a blogger living in the Twin Cities. His reviews of crime and noir fiction, film, TV, and comics can be found at bscreview.com or at his blog proper, http://nerdofnoir.blogspot.com/ . He’s a movie freak in general and is constantly giving 140 character reviews of every damn thing he sees on his twitter page, www.twitter.com/nerdofnoir . Apparently, the Nerd of Noir is also a blatant self-promoter. His real name is arguably Pete Dragovich.