Noir Sidebar: Hard-Boiled 1950s Science Fiction

AUGUST 19-24

The notion that film noir and science fiction aren’t necessarily distant universes will surprise no one after decades of “future noir” and “tech noir” à la Blade Runner, The Terminator, The Matrix, and their multifarious replicants, clones, and cyberpunk spawn. And vintage noir, as purists often point out, was not a genre per se but a style and a mood and a world view (darkly fatalistic) and a historical cycle — one of the predominant filmmaking modes of the 1940s and 1950s. Films of various genres — westerns, women’s pictures, social-issue dramas — could be noirs. Silver and Ward’s essential Film Noir Encyclopedia considers several key sci-fi movies of the ’50s to be true films noir — including these two classics, both of which apply noir moods and methods (and menace and paranoia) — to SF subjects!

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Recent Showings

Don Siegel brings his trademark tough, terse touch to this simply-great gem of ’50s science-fiction, adapted from Jack Finney’s novel.
Gordon Douglas’s smart, suspenseful sci-fi classic shapes itself as a police procedural — and then mutates into something else!