Saturday, August 25th 20181:00 PM
Every Saturday, August 4th 2018 - August 25th 2018
Get out your fedora, trench coat, and magnifying glass! Each Saturday in August, we’ll trace the evolution of American Crime Cinema through noteworthy and award-winning films emblematic of key genre movements.
Hosted by Chris Wagenseller of Central Penn College.
1:00 Film Introduction
Film Discussion to Immediately Follow
The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941)
Based on Dashiell Hammett’s widely-acclaimed 1930 novel of the same name, John Huston’s first feature set the template for the hardboiled screen detective and made Humphrey Bogart a bonafide film star. In addition to previewing the film and series, we’ll examine how the film offers the first onscreen success of the ‘double game’, wherein the audience and the sleuth compete to solve the case first.
Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia (Sam Peckinpah, 1974)
“I’m a student of violence because I’m a student of the human heart,” Sam Peckinpah once claimed, and Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia most directly demonstrates the questionable choices borne from the darker impulses of the heart more than any other film on our list. We’ll discuss how the movie also serves as a crossover point between the western and the noir as the commercial cinema battle was being won by the latter.
Body Heat (Lawrence Kasdan, 1981)
Film noir is a genre told almost exclusively from a male perspective, which we’ll briefly examine before watching one if its most seductive entries, Body Heat. Centering on a listless Florida attorney’s infatuation with a Femme Fatale who owes her narrative and performative lineage to the earliest human storytelling — and certainly the screen sirens who preceded her — this conspicuously self-aware film is evocative of earlier classic please-kill-my-husband flicks like DoubleIndemnity and The Postman Always RingsTwice whilst firmly placing the locus of power within the female lead, where it of course always belonged.
Brick (Rian Johnson, 2005)
The first feature from Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson, Brick is a postmodern take on crime cinema: though built in the mold of crooks, dames, heavies, and private eyes of classic 1940s noir, the characters are all teenagers, and the bulk of the action – replete with murder, drugs, and sin – takes place in and around the high school they never appear to attend. We’ll discuss how the disruption of characters and setting influences how we receive the story, as well as attempt to identify its pastiche of influences.