In this week’s Spotlight, classic crime sagas get a contemporary infusion of style and smarts! Of course, they retain the atmospheric ambiance that makes film noir so immersive and enjoyable in the first place.
Is it the curvy, swerve-y plot twists? That somehow sophisticated seediness? Whatever the reason to love film noir, our new Spotlight on Neo-Noir shows how hallmarks of the genre have carried forward into some of the most daring and clever movies of recent decades. The offerings in this collection all show a unique acknowledgment of noir inspiration. Draw the blinds, unplug the phone, and take a look at some of the highlights! They include a much-anticipated miniseries event, this week’s Featured Release and an indie darling that was one of Fandor’s top-watched titles of 2014:
Bruno Dumont is the latest idiosyncratic director to dabble in episodic television, following in the footsteps of the likes of Lynch and Campion in more ways than one. Over four episodes, L’il Quinquin unfolds a bizarre murder mystery set in rural France with an unforgettable cast of compelling and off-kilter characters. Cahiers du Cinema voted this enthusiastically eccentric film their number one pick of 2014, and it’s easy to see why! The Film Society of Lincoln Center is currently showing it in its entirety, and the only other place to find it is right here on Fandor.
On the trail of his missing dog, Dolph Springer’s weird life just keeps getting weirder. From Quentin Dupieux, the twisted mind behind RUBBER, this week’s Featured Release is fearless in its commitment to bringing its own bizarre world to life. To put it another way, Wrong is so wrong it’s right! Queue it up and take a thoroughly enjoyable trip down the rabbit hole.
What is the method behind the madness of Kate Lyn Sheil’s Crystal, a woman on the road with her partner through the sticky suburban Florida landscape? As the journey unfolds in Amy Seimetz’s Sun Don’t Shine, tender and sinister truths emerge like alligators surfacing in a swamp. This the feature directorial debut for Seimetz, who is an acclaimed actor in her own right, and it was one of the top-ten most-watched Fandor films of 2014. If you haven’t yet immersed yourself in this hazily atmospheric daymare, make it one of the first movies you watch in 2015!
A shocking and brutal murder shakes a small Canadian town to its core, but as with many noir films, the dead body is just the beginning. A gothic drama of small town horror is powered by a poignant soundtrack, standout performances by the cast (including Peter Stormare, Jill Hennessy and Martha Plimpton) and powerfully persistent themes of transgression and redemption. Small Town Murder Songs is delightfully dark morsel that John Anderson of Variety calls “a whole greater than the parts, one in which each disparate element complements the other.”
Mark Rappaport applies his signature experimental flourishes to Exterior Night, a meta-meditation on the enduring nature of noir that appropriates and juxtaposes classic black-and-white films as the rear-projected backdrop of a contemporary story. Part parodic send-up and part ultimate homage, there’s plenty here for noir fans to love, starting with the dramatic re-visioning of favorites like Mildred Pierce and Strangers on a Train.
If these five films haven’t sated your appetite for savvy interpretations of beloved tropes, we’re sure that something in our Spotlight on Neo-Noir is sure to do the trick. So go ahead: find a new favorite and indulge your dark side!