Classic heist movies, Fritz Lang films, Japanese and Czechoslovak film noir and much more will be on the program this weekend, August 22-25, at the seventh annual Noir Film Festival on the grounds and inside the halls of the historic 12th-century Křivoklát Castle.
An hour by car from Prague, Křivoklát Castle makes for an excellent day or weekend trip regardless of the occasion. For fans of classic crime films, however, Křivoklát Castle makes for an extraordinary backdrop for thee annual Noir Film Festival (for more about the fest, read about the 2018 Noir Film Fest here and the 2017 edition of the Noir Film Fest here).
Heist noir from the 1940s and 1950s will feature among the main selections at the 2019 Noir Film Festival, including Robert Siodmak’s original 1946 version of The Killers, Richard Fleischer’s Armed Car Robbery, Robert Wise’s Odds Against Tomorrow, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing.
Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, a neo-noir that borrows heavily from the aforementioned heist movies, will also be screened in Křivoklát this year. Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, has just opened to acclaim in cinemas across the Czech Republic.
Among the other film selections at this year’s Noir Film Festival in Křivoklát, a spotlight will be shone on Japanese noir of the 1950s and 1960s, with screenings of two personal favorites: Seijin Suzuki’s Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill (note: only Tokyo Drifter will screen with English subtitles). Also screening with English subtitles: A Colt Is My Passport, starring Branded to Kill’s Jo Shishido.
A Fritz Lang retrospective will include the director’s German classic M along with five Hollywood films he made after emigrating to the US in the years leading to WWII: You Only Live Once, Ministry of Fear, Scarlet Street, Secret Beyond the Door, and Clash by Night. Scarlet Street will get the honor of an outdoor screening in Křivoklát Castle’s baroque courtyard on Friday night.
Also screening in Křivoklát Castle’s courtyard on Saturday will be the Alfred Hitchcock classic Rebecca, the only film from the master to win the Best Picture Academy Award. The screening of Rebecca at this year’s Noir Film Festival also launches a new Czech blu-ray edition of the film, which will be available for purchase in Křivoklát. At midnight on Saturday, a screening of Rear Window will make it a Hitchcock double feature.
Presenting Rebecca to audiences at this year’s Noir Film Fest will be Slovak actress Vera Kerekes (Milada, Anděl Páně 2, Muži v naději), one of the most popular actresses working in contemporary Czech films. Among the other special guests at this year’s Noir Film Festival will be actress Zlata Adamovská (star of this year’s hit Ženy v běhu), actor Petr Štěpánek, and director Jan Hřebejk (Pelíšky and the Garden Store trilogy), who will be presented with the festival’s special Noir Eye award.
Past Noir Eye recipient Václav Marhoul will also be attending this year’s festival. On Saturday morning, he’ll present clips and answer questions about his latest movie, The Painted Bird, an adaptation of Jerzy Kosiński’s classic WWII-era novel starring Harvey Keitel and Stellan Skarsgård. Later this month, The Painted Bird will become the first Czech film to play in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 25 years.
Little-seen 1960s Czechoslovak noir classics will also be presented at the Noir Film Festival this year, all presented with English subtitles. Screening will be Otakar Vávra’s Noční host (The Night Guest), Jiří Krejčík’s Poľnočná omša (Midnight Mass), Jiří Hanibal’s Dům ztracených duší (The House of Lost Souls), and Smrt si říká Engelchen (Death is Called Engelchen) from directors Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos, who won an Oscar for their subsequent film, The Shop on the Main Street.