NOIR CITY 11: NATIVE SON / INTRUDER IN THE DUST
Tuesday, January 29: African American Noir
The price of admission gets you in for the double bill.
(1951, Argentina Sono Films, 91 min.)
West Coast Premiere 35mm Restoration!
Richard Wright's 1940 novel Native Son was a literary sensation when first published, providing African Americans with a startlingly symbolic narrative and powerful new voice. A film version, however, was impossible, as the story delved into deep-seated fears -- on the part of both blacks and whites -- that American movies were not prepared to face. South America, however, had no such qualms, and in 1951 expatriate Frenchman Pierre Chenal and Argentinian producer Jamie Prades set about adapting the harrowing tale, with Buenos Aires standing in for Chicago. It is equal parts noir thriller and social commentary, depicting the existential and societal pressures faced by a black man trying to survive in a culture dominated by whites.
INTRUDER IN THE DUST
(1949, MGM [WB], 87 min.)
Nobel prize winner William Faulkner's 1948 novel is a high-minded piece of crime fiction, written as atonement for the mistreatment of blacks in his native South. Proud African American farmer Lucas Beauchamp (Juano Hernandez, in a memorable portrayal) is a defiant Mississippi landowner accused of murdering a white man. When the county's most prominent lawyer (David Brian) refuses to defend him, it's up to a young boy (Claude Jarman Jr.) to stand up to the vigilantes and help solve the crime.
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