California Museum & Film Noir Foundation present “Light & Noir Film Festival” at Sacramento’s historic Crest Theatre on Sat., July 22
Screenings of “Double Indemnity” (1944) & “Sunset Boulevard” (1950) plus Q&A with Film Noir Foundation’s Eddie Muller explore the work of acclaimed director Billy Wilder, a refugee of Nazi persecution whose accomplishments shaped film noir & Hollywood’s Golden Age
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (June 15, 2017) — The California Museum in partnership with the Film Noir Foundation today announced the “Light & Noir Film Festival” at Sacramento’s historic Crest Theatre on Sat., July 22 from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. The festival includes screenings of “Double Indemnity” (1944) and “Sunset Boulevard” (1950), both featured in the California Museum’s installation of the traveling exhibit “Light & Noir: Exiles & Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933-1950.” In addition, a Q&A with Eddie Muller, Film Noir Foundation Founder and President and host of Turner Classic Movies’ “Noir Alley,” will explore the legacy of legendary director Billy Wilder, a refugee from Nazi persecution during WWII whose legacy of achievements defined the film noir genre and shaped Hollywood’s Golden Age.
“Billy Wilder is inarguably the most prolific and influential writer-director in Hollywood history, as adept with fatalistic film noir as he was with uproarious comedy,” said Film Noir Foundation President Eddie Muller. “Was his vision shaped by a youth in Weimar and Nazi Germany—or was his talent unaffected by the world around him? I don’t know the answer, but discussing it sure makes for interesting conversation.”
“We are thrilled to present the festival in partnership with the Film Noir Foundation and the Crest,” said California Museum Executive Director Amanda Meeker, “As well as to explore the work of émigré Billy Wilder in ‘Light & Noir: Exiles & Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933-1950.’ With a career spanning more than five decades and over 50 film credits, Wilder was one of the most accomplished and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age. His achievements as a screenwriter, producer and director earned him six Academy Awards, and his contributions to film noir through ‘Double Indemnity’ and ‘Sunset Boulevard’ elevated the genre to an art form.”
Although the role of Jewish immigrants in Hollywood’s formative years is widely known, the stories of Jewish refugees who shaped American cinema during WWII have been less commonly explored. When the Nazis banned Jews from the German film industry in 1933, an exodus of Europe’s top talent began. During the 15 years that followed, over 800 movie professionals migrated to Los Angeles, seeking refuge from persecution. Among them was legendary director Billy Wilder, a Jewish writer, producer and director whose life and legacy are featured in the traveling exhibit “Light & Noir: Exiles & Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933-1950” currently on view at the California Museum through Oct. 15, 2017.
Born on June 22, 1906 in Sucha, Poland, Samuel “Billy” Wilder began his career as a screenwriter in Berlin, Germany during the 1920s. In 1929, Wilder got his first break with the German film “Menschen Am Sontag” (“People on Sunday”). When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Wilder was forced into exile in France, arriving in Hollywood the next year with little money or knowledge of English. He worked sporadically in the film industry until 1938, when he began a fruitful collaboration with Charles Brackett. Their 12-year partnership produced a succession of box office hits, including “Double Indemnity” (1944) and “Sunset Boulevard” (1950), which established Wilder’s reputation for creating commercially-successful and critically-acclaimed films, as well as two of the film noir genre’s definitive examples.
Presented in partnership by the California Museum and the Film Noir Foundation, the “Light & Noir Film Festival” will explore the work of acclaimed director Billy Wilder and his contributions to the film noir genre on Sat., July 22, 2017 at the Crest Theatre located at 1013 K Street in downtown Sacramento. Set in a historic art deco movie palace, the festival will feature a screening of “Double Indemnity” (1944) at 5:00 p.m., followed by a Q&A with Film Noir Foundation Founder and President and Turner Classic Movies’ “Noir Alley” host Eddie Muller at 7:00 p.m. and a screening of “Sunset Boulevard” (1950) at 7:30 p.m. Additional festivities include a 1940s-1950s costume contest, custom cocktails from the theatre’s adjoining Empress Tavern and more.
Tickets to the “Light & Noir Film Festival” on Sat., July 22 are $10.00 for each film or $25.00 for both films as well as admission to the California Museum’s installation of “Light & Noir: Exiles & Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933-1950,” a $9.00 value. For more information or to purchase tickets on sale starting June 15, visit http://www.crestsacramento.com or the Crest Box Office open Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information on the California Museum’s installation of “Light & Noir: Exiles & Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933-1950,” visit http://www.californiamuseum.org/light-noir. For more information on Eddie Muller and the Film Noir Foundation, visit http://www.filmnoirfoundation.org.
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