Cinema 21 To Host Brand New Film Noir Festival in March

Curated by renowned programmer Elliot Lavine, "I Wake Up Dreaming" brings sixteen classic and obscure noir films to Portland.

Gun Crazy

Portland film buffs, I bring you great news.

Next month, Nob Hill's Cinema 21 is launching a brand new noir film festival curated by one of the nation's leading film noir programmers.

Elliot Lavine is one of the most beloved people in San Francisco's film community. He's built a celebrated career as a programmer at the Roxie and Castro theaters since 1990, bringing forgotten film noir, obscure pre-Code films and Hong Kong cinema to the Bay Area. When Lavine announced his departure to Portland last year for Cinema 21, the San Francisco Chronicle published a tribute to the city's "last great programmer."

"I feel like I did 25 years ago," Lavine says. "It's crazy and exciting. And for cinema lovers, it going to be a feast."

Related: "Cinema 21 is getting San Francisco's Best Film Curator."

Lavine hasn't completed the move to Portland quite yet—he told WW that he won't relocate until May this year. But he's already set up a brand new, weeklong film festival, called "I Wake Up Dreaming." From March 17-23, Cinema 21 will screen 16 classic noir films, Poverty Row deep cuts and left-field choices, many of which to be presented on 35mm studio archive prints.

"It's going to be a combination of hardcore classics and relatively obscure titles, hybrids like The Manchurian Candidate which people don't usually associate with the noir style," says Lavine. "It's going to be a real eye opener for people, especially people who take their moviegoing seriously."

Lavine has been running "I Wake Up Dreaming" in San Francisco since 2009, when he decided to give his noir programming an official title—a riff on the 1941 noir I Wake Up Screaming. He moved the series to the enormous Castro Theater in 2015 to accommodate swelling crowds, with screenings selling as many as 900 tickets.

"This is finally giving Portland moviegoers an opportunity to see certain films in gorgeous 35mm studio prints," Lavine says. "It's exciting as someone who's been doing this for so long to come into a new city, one that seems prepared to embrace this kind of programming."

Here's the full line-up:

Friday, March 17:

Gun Crazy (1950)Criss Cross (1949)

Saturday, March 18:

Detour (1945) 

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) & Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Sunday, March 19:

Railroaded! (1947) 

Ride the Pink Horse (1947) & Black Angel (1946)

Monday, March 20:

Scarlet Street (1945) & Hollow Triumph (1948)

Tuesday, March 21:

D.O.A. (1950)Raw Deal (1948)

Wednesday, March 22:

The Big Heat (1953)The Big Combo (1955)

Thursday, March 23:

The Killing (1956)Murder By Contract (1958)

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