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Tribute to Noir Visionary John Alton


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#1 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:27 PM

This visionary cinematographer will receive a posthumous tribute at the fifth Noir City film noir festival Friday, February 2, at the Castro Theatre, in a double feature copresented by the Film Society.

SFFS Executive Director Graham Leggat will introduce the 8:00 pm double-feature screening of The Big Combo (restored 35mm print courtesy of the Film Foundation and the UCLA Film & Television Archive) and The Spiritualist (new 35mm print courtesy of Sony Classics).

Alton's camerawork can also be seen on January 26th at the Castro Theatre in "Raw Deal". Includes an on stage interview with actress Marsha Hunt.

I'm so there :)

Details: http://www.noircity.com
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#2 Sakari Suuronen

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:56 PM

I've been reading up about Alton in the past couple of days. Definetely gonna check out those movies someday.

Man, you guys are so lucky to get a 35mm screening of the Big Combo.
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 05:22 PM

I'm very jealous. I tried to get there last time when I was staying with family in SF, but missed it. Report back please.
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#4 Matthew Buick

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 06:23 PM

I'm very jealous too. :D
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:51 PM

Yeah, the Noir City festival really is great. Last year I got to see a restored 35mm print of "Strangers on a Train"...it was fantastic.
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#6 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 01:03 AM

Yeah, the Noir City festival really is great. Last year I got to see a restored 35mm print of "Strangers on a Train"...it was fantastic.



Hey dude, I'm in SF as well, I hit you up on myspace, we should check it out.
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 06:44 PM

Hmmm, don't remember getting a message from you?

Try again :)
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#8 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 03:52 AM

Sweet, I'll have to try and get off of work for this. Anyone else from SF on the board want to get together for this one?
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 12:32 PM

The film last night was great! It's a gorgeous piece of noir filmmaking and it was great to see so many people recognizing John Alton's name. So many great lines in "The Big Combo" though.

Oh, and just one thing that I always forget until I see a b&w film on the big screen...grain! Oh the glorious grain! I'm too used to seeing these classic films compressed for a 32" television screen, it was almost hypnotic watching this nearly pristine 35mm print being projected onto the 50' screen.

It was a double feature, but sadly, I couldn't stay to watch "The Spiritualist" :(
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#10 Ken Zukin

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:00 AM

Alton's work in "The Spiritualist" is even more jaw-dropping. His lighting is really baroque - as amatter of fact, his work is the best thing about the movie. He was a very daring cinematographer - the stuff he did was almost outrageous - the images are just so strong! He truly was gifted - I hardly ever use the word "genius", but I would use it to describe John Alton's work. His day-for-night scenes in "The Spiritualist" are flat-out amazing.
"The Big Combo" has some very nice work in it, but it's overall not his signature work. Check out "T-Men", "He Walked By Night", or the lesser known "Devils Doorway" (a Noir Western!!).
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#11 krisbfunk

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 06:21 PM

Kudos to the Alton thread. I've seen his work on Anthony Mann's films 'T-Men' and 'Raw Deal'.. some amazing lighting and atmosphere.. he had so much creative control with Anthony. Definitely a strong inspiration, I'll have to check out the others mentioned here! :)
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#12 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 06:25 PM

Astonish the difference between what he did for the screen and the examples he chose to show in his book.
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