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Victoria - Sebastian Schipper
Victoria – Sebastian Schipper

The 2017 incarnation of the world’s most popular film noir festival, Noir City, is returning to the legendary Egyptian theater in Seattle February 16 through 22, with 20 exceptional films ranging from the mid-twentieth century to today and culled from all parts of the globe. “The Big Knockover” is a veritable history of the heist film, from black-and-white Hollywood classics such as Criss Cross (1949) and The Asphalt Jungle (1950), to stunning contemporary thrillers like The Aura (2005) and Victoria (2015). Noir City’s lineup explores, in films both suspenseful and comedic, the desperate lengths to which people will go to beat the system and hit the big time.

Films in the Festival come from the United States, England, Japan, France, Argentina, and Germany and span eight decades of filmmaking. Festival producer, programmer and all around Czar of Noir Eddie Muller clarifies that despite the change of pace, “This doesn’t mean we’ve run out of films from the original noir movement. That remains our primary focus, and it is films of that period the Film Noir Foundation is dedicated to rescuing and restoring. But this particular theme—heist films—is much richer when the parameters are expanded to include films from different countries and eras. By making that leap, a more intriguing experience emerges for those loyal patrons who join us for the full ride.” Eddie will be maestro for the week-long Festival to delight patrons with intrigue and sordid anecdotes from Hollywood.

“We are excited for this year’s Noir City to return after a fantastic run at the Egyptian last summer,” says SIFF Interim Artistic Director, Beth Barrett, “Audiences in Seattle can’t get enough of dark and thrilling cinema and there’s no better or more atmospheric movie palace to host Noir City in than the Egyptian.”

Opening Night the Egyptian will be transformed into a haven for gangsters, molls, vixens, and villains, with Noir-themed wine and a shadowy cityscape photo booth to capture patrons at their fiendish best. The Opening Night film sets the stage for the Festival with the gold standard of heist noir, The Asphalt Jungle (1950), presented in 35mm. John Huston’s classic proves that while there’s no perfect crime there is a perfect ensemble cast, including Sterling Hayden, Jean Hagen, Louis Calhern, and Marilyn Monroe in her screen debut.


Thursday, February 16
The Asphalt Jungle
A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel. (d: John Huston c: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore, Sam Jaffe, Marilyn Monroe, USA 1950, 112 min)

Criss Cross
An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route. (d: Robert Siodmak c: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally, USA 1949, 89 min)

Friday, February 17
Kansas City Confidential
An ex-con trying to go straight is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits. (d: Phil Karlson c: John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam, Dona Drake, USA 1952, 99 min)

Violent Saturday
Three men case a small town very carefully, with plans to rob the bank on the upcoming Saturday, which turns violent and deadly. (d: Richard Fleischer c: Victor Mature, Richard Egan, Lee Marvin, Stephen McNally, Sylvia Sidney, USA 1955, 90 min)

Saturday, February 18
The Ladykillers
Five diverse oddball-criminal-types planning a bank robbery, rent rooms on a cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow under the pretext that they are classical musicians. (d: Alexander Mackendrick c: Katie Johnson, Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Jack Warner, USA 1955, 91 min)

The League of Gentlemen
A disgruntled veteran recruits a group of disgraced colleagues to perform a bank robbery with military precision. (d: Basil Dearden c: John Hawkins, Nigel Patrick, Roger Livesey, Bryan Forbes, Richard Attenborough, USA 1960, 116 min)

The Killing
A gang of greedy petty criminals plan a race track robbery. The plan gets foiled and disaster ensues. (d: Stanley Kubrick c: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen, Elisha Cook, USA 1956, 85 min)

Cruel Gun Story
A convict fresh out of prison, with a handicapped sister, is coerced by a wealthy mob boss into organizing an armored racetrack car heist. (d: Takumi Furukawa c: Jô Shishido , Chieko Matsubara, Tamio Kawaji, Yûji Odaka, Minako Kazuki, Japan 1964, 87 min)

Sunday, February 19
The Brink’s Job
Crime story based on the real armed robbery of the Brink’s Building in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17th, 1950. (d: William Friedkin c: Peter Falk, Peter Boyle, Allen Garfield, Warren Oates, Gena Rowlands, Paul Sorvino, USA 1978, 104 min)

The Sicilian Clan
A young, ambitious mobster plans an elaborate diamond heist while seducing the daughter of a ruthless mob patriarch as a determined police commissioner closes in on all of them. (d: Henri Verneuil c: Jean Gabin, Alain Delon, Lino Ventura, Irina Demick, Sydney Chaplin, France/USA 1969, 122 min)

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
In New York, armed men hijack a subway car and demand a ransom for the passengers. Even if it’s paid, how could they get away? (d: Joseph Sargent c: Waltar Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo, USA 1974, 104 min)

Charley Varrick
A man, his wife, and their friend, stage a bloody bank robbery, unaware they are stealing money from the Mob. (d: Don Siegel c: Walter Matthau, Andrew Robinson, Joe Don Baker, John Vernon, Felicia Farr, USA 1973, 111 min)

Monday, February 20
Transplanted American director Dassin executes the most suspenseful robbery sequence of all time in this legendary crime classic. Jean Servais leads the gang. (d: Jules Dassin c: Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Janine Darcey, Pierre Grasset, France 1955, 122 min)

Classe Tous Risques
As the police close in, a wanted Frenchman assesses his relationship with his estranged family and his former friends. (d: Claude Sautet c: Lino Ventura, Sandra Milo, Jean-Paul Belmondo, France 1960, 110 min)

Blue Collar
Three workers, Zeke, Jerry, and Smokey, are working at a car plant and drinking their beers together. One night when they steal away from their wives to have some fun they get the idea to rob the local union’s bureau safe. (d: Paul Schrader c: Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto, Ed Begley Jr., Harry Bellaver, USA 1978, 114 min)

Straight Time
After being released on parole, a burglar attempts to go by society’s rules. He soon finds himself back in jail at the hands of a power-hungry parole officer. When he is released again, he assaults the parole officer, steals his car, and returns to a life of crime. (d: Ulu Grosbard c: Dustin Hoffman, Harry Dean Stanton, Gary Busey, Theresa Russell, M. Emmet Walsh, Kathy Bates, USA 1978, 114 min)

Tuesday, February 21
Film pending

The Aura
A deluded taxidermist plans the perfect crime. (d: Fabián Bielinsky c: Ricardo Darin, Dolores Fonzi, Alejandro Awada, Pablo Cedron, Argentina/Spain/France 2005, 134 min)

Wednesday, February 22
Cash on Demand
A charming but ruthless criminal holds the family of a bank manager hostage as part of a cold-blooded plan to steal 97,000 pounds. (d: Quentin Lawrence c: Peter Cushing, André Morell, Richard Vernon, Norman Bird, United Kingdom 1961, 84 min)

A young Spanish woman who has newly moved to Berlin finds her flirtation with a local guy turn potentially deadly as their night out with his friends reveals a dangerous secret. (d: Sebastian Schipper c: Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit, Max Mauff, Andre M. Hennicke, Germany 2015, 140 min)

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