Blacklisted: A Film Noir Festival
Film host and cinema enthusiast John Ellis returns to BIMA with weekend of life in the shadows. The noir genre remains elusive; It’s been called strange, cynical, erotic, gritty and cruel. These dark classics from the 1940s and 50s are never easy to define but stylistically distinctive with their low lighting and off-balance composition. Blacklisted is accompanied by an exhibit of printmaking work in the BIMA Bistro, also created by artist John Ellis.
SAVE WITH A SERIES PASS
Member pricing: $30
Non-member pricing: $42
Friday, November 10
7 PM: NIAGARA (1953)
Starring Joseph Cotton, Jean Peters and Marilyn Monroe COLOR
Directed by Henry Hathaway
1hr 29 min
Niagara is one of noir’s greatest roller coaster rides, starring the technicolor-drenched beauty of both the Niagara Falls and a young Marilyn Monroe. For Monroe, this was a stunning departure from her lightweight comedies. During this time period she famously quipped “Hollywood is a place where they will pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”
Saturday, November 11
3 PM: NIGHT AND THE CITY (1950)
Directed by Jules Dassin (prior blacklist)
Starring Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney
1hr 35 mins
Shot on location in London, this taut thriller follows an ambitious hustler and con man as he tumbles through a cold world inhabited by seamy characters, cheap gangsters, and soulless racketeers.
7 PM: FORCE OF EVIL (1949)
Directed by Abraham Polonsky (formerly blacklisted)
Starring John Garfield, Marie Windsor, and Thomas Gomez
1hr 18 mins
“Drenched in greed, cynicism and corruption of the soul, ” John Garfield (known for The Postman Always Rings Twice) stars as a morally bankrupt lawyer with a plan to consolidate the small-time numbers-racket operators.
Sunday, November 12
7 PM: ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1959)
Directed by Robert Wise
Starring Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, and Shelly Winters
Written by Abraham Polonsky,
1hr 35 mins
Harry Belafonte comes center stage in Odds Against Tomorrow, the first film-noir with a black protagonist. Belafonte selected Abraham Polonsky (“Force of Evil,” 1948) to write the script. As a blacklisted writer Polonsky used a pseudonym, writing under the name John O. Killens, a black novelist and friend of Belafonte’s.
Header image: John Ellis, Bone Black Noir #5, 2023, monotype, 13.5″h x 10″w, Courtesy of the Artist, photo by Laura Zander.