2022 Noir Film Fest showcases Rita Hayworth, David Fincher at Český Šternberk Castle

The annual Noir Film Festival returns to the medieval halls of Český Šternberk Castle next week, and features special retrospectives dedicated to actress Rita Hayworth and director David Fincher alongside other sections that include classic film noir from the 1940s and 50s.

The festival celebrates its 10th year of existence this year, with each edition taking place in a centuries-old Bohemian castle. This year’s Noir Film Festival returns to the historic Český Šternberk Castle for the second year after moving from Kokořín Castle to Křivoklát Castle during past editions.

Among the special guests at this year’s Noir Film Festival will be filmmaker Samantha Fuller, daughter of legendary director Samuel Fuller. Samatha Fuller will present her father’s film Underworld U.S.A., as well as Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le fou, in which Samuel Fuller appeared in a memorable cameo.

Other films screening at this year’s Noir Film Festival include special sections dedicated to Spanish film noir (which includes Juan Antonio Bardem’s classic Death of a Cyclist), and Czechoslovak noir, which will feature a special open-air screening of Bořivoj Zeman’s A Dead Man Among the Living (Mrtvý mezi živými) in the Castle courtyard.

The David Fincher retrospective at this year’s Noir Film Festival includes five of the director’s most celebrated films, including Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Gone Girl.

David Fincher is known for many things – perfectionism, versatility, fascination with modern technology, ‘torturing’ his actors, actresses and crew by repeating shots dozens of times, and for his programmatic rejection of the idea of the ‘Fincher signature’ often attributed to him,” Noir Film Festival programmer Jana Bébarová states in a press release.

“In a kind of sadistic pleasure inherent in the nature of many of his characters, Fincher enjoys terrifying his audience, purposefully making them uncomfortable with dark visions of a world wracked by malevolence. He refers to his generation as the generation of skeptics and cynics and acknowledges that his entire career has been about perverse books and screenplays.”

The tribute to actress Rita Hayworth at this year’s festival will include a screening of 1946’s Gilda, one of her most iconic roles.

“There was a great contradiction between the actress’s star image and her personal life,” says Bébarová.

“Her image had a negative impact on her relationships with men, of whom she was a victim. ‘Men go to bed with Gilda, but they wake up with me,’ she declared.”

Another tribute at this year’s festival will be paid to actor Robert Taylor, and include a screening of the offbeat thriller Rogue Cop, in which the star plays against character.

“Taylor’s career takes on even further significance in the context of this year’s program: together with his first wife, the well-known actress Barbara Stanwyck, he was a conservative Republican in the late 1940s and early 1950s and became vocal opponent of all the filmmakers we are covering in the main program section, many of whom ended up on the blacklist,“ remarks Noir Film Fest programmer Milan Hain.

Additional tributes will feature screenings dedicated to Czech actress Hana Maciuchová, Slovak actress Emilia Vášáryová and director Hynek Bočan.

Dating back to the mid-13th century, Český Šternberk Castle is one of the oldest stone castles in the Czech Republic. It was originally constructed by the Sternberg dynasty and is still owned by their descendants to this day. The castle is about 40 minutes southeast of Prague, and easily accessible by car from the D1 highway.

This year’s Noir Film Festival will take place from Wednesday, August 17 through Sunday, August 21. More information about this year’s Noir Film Festival, including the full program and how to purchase tickets, can be found at the festival’s new website.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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