Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tribute to a Forgotten Legend

Streets of No Return: The Dark Cinema of David Goodis
August 1st through August 23rd
The Pacific Film Archive
Berkley, CA

Writer David Goodis at Work.

The Pacific Film Archive will screen the film series Streets of No Return: The Dark Cinema of David Goodis August 1st through August 23rd. This series of films features screenplays written by, or adapted from stories by, David Goodis, ranging from classic Hollywood film noirs to French New Wave landmarks. Goodis wrote extensively for a variety of pulp magazines during the 1930s and 1940s. Great opportunity came with the serialization in The Saturday Evening Post of his novel Dark Passage, which Warner Bros. turned into a film starring Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. Unfortunately, his alcoholism prevented him from parlaying his hit into further success. He died in 1967 from cirrhosis of the liver.

Several of the films will be introduced by guests influenced in different ways by Goodis. Barry Gifford, author of the Sailor and Lulu novels- the base for Wild at Heart, will introduce the films on opening night. Film critic Mike White will introduce Shoot the Piano Player, check out his site for some early ruminations on the film. The Film Noir Foundation's Eddie Muller will host the screenings of Nightfall and The Burglar. Director Nicholas Kazan will be on hand to discuss his version of the Goodis story, The Professional Man. On closing night, musician Elliot Lavine, will introduce Moon in the Gutter.
A complete schedule follows:
Friday, August 1, 2008 - 7:00 pm
Dark Passage
Introduced by Barry Gifford. A prison escapee has plastic surgery and turns out to be Humphrey Bogart: Delmer Daves experiments with a subjective camera in this San Francisco set film noir. With Lauren Bacall.
Friday, August 1, 2008 - 9:15 pm
The Unfaithful
Ann Sheridan is a wartime adulteress who pays the price when the troops come home in this dank drama.
Saturday, August 2, 2008 - 6:30 pm and
Tuesday, August 5, 2008 - 7:30pm
Shoot the Piano Player
Introduced by Mike White. A brand-new print of Truffaut's frolicsome yet faithful genre pastiche, starring a hangdog Charles Aznavour. Repeated on August 5.
Thursday, August 7, 2008 6:30 pm
Introduced by Eddie Muller. Jacques Tourneur's noir unravels fall guy Aldo Ray's paranoid past. With stunning outdoor cinematography by Burnett Guffey.
Thursday, August 7, 2008 - 8:30 pm
The Burglar
Introduced by Eddie Muller. A miasma of incestuous desire hangs over thief Dan Duryea and his sister Jayne Mansfield in Goodis' pulpy plot.
Sunday, August 10, 2008 - 7:00 pm
Descent into Hell
A boozehound author and his chilly wife go to the tropics to revive their marriage, but Haiti becomes a stand"n for hell.
Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 6:30 pm
The Burglars

Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, this French retooling of The Burglar shifts the action to Greece, with a famed car chase as centerpiece of the high-speed caper.
Thursday, August 21, 2008 6:30 pm
The Professional Man x Two
Nicholas Kazan in Person. Kazan and Steven Soderbergh directed two totally different TV takes on the same Goodis story.
Thursday, August 21, 2008 8:30 pm
And Hope to Die
Jean-Louis Trintignant and Robert Ryan in Rene Clement's study of pent-up rivalries in a claustrophobic gangland hideout.
Saturday, August 23, 2008 6:30 pm
Moon in the Gutter
Introduced by Elliot Lavine. Jean-Jacques Beineix evokes Goodis's murky and haunted world with sinister artifice. Starring Gerard Depardieu and Nastassia Kinski. This promises to be a fascinating look at one man's writing through a wide variety of lenses.


  1. God bless the PFA! We've nothing like them in the Great Northwest, not even close! I know nothing of Goodis, but I certainly know the movies. Sounds like a great idea for a series. I'll watch my laseerdisc copy of Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player, next Thursday night and wish I was there. Maybe some day BART will build that 900 mile spur to Seattle!

  2. David - feel free to check out some of the comments I said beforehand. My notes are on http://theeveningclass.blogspot.com/