Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Noir City X and the Mirkarimi Mess

Noir City, the coolest film festival in San Francisco, is holding its tenth anniversary this week at the Castro Theatre. There are double bills and newly-struck, pristine prints of fascinating films, and a cheap admission price to one of the great movie palaces left in the world.

Festival founder Eddie Muller, above right, has created an interesting niche for himself as a film preserver, evangelist, writer and filmmaker focusing on the dark, fatalistic film genre from the late 1930s to early 1960s known as Film Noir.

I mentioned to him that somebody we knew in common had been caught in the maws of the Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi domestic violence inquisition. The scandal has become a tabloid sensation for the local media, partly out of political intent and partly because certain morality tales have their own celebrity momentum. "The entire story, with all its layers of corruption, is like one of your movies," I told Eddie, and he replied, "It's a demonstration of the maxim that in the world of Noir, there is no good deed that goes unpunished."

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