Saturday, August 26, 2017

Noir City Chicago Opens with screening of “L.A. Confidential” at Music Box

August 25, 2017
Noir City Chicago returned to the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., tonight with the  screening of Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential (1997). The theme at this year’s Noir City is “The Big Knockover.” Presented by the Film Noir Foundation, “The Big Knockover” features “the history of the heist film from black-and-white Hollywood classics to contemporary masterpieces.”

Music Box calendar and Batman in Noir Alley comic

Author James Ellroy was on hand, whose novel the film L.A. Confidential was based. Ellroy was introduced and interviewed by Film Noir Foundation founder Eddie Muller. Ellroy is a strange character. His conversation was populated with crude language and gestures, which took some getting used to. Here’s his opening monologue to last night’s crowd.

Good evening peepers, prowlers, pederasts, panty-sniffers, punks and pimps. I’m James Ellroy, the demon dog with the hog-log, the foul owl with the death growl, the white knight of the far right, and the slick trick with the donkey dick. I’m the author of 16 books, masterpieces all; they precede all my future masterpieces. These books will leave you reamed, steamed and drycleaned, tie-dyed, swept to the side, true-blued, tattooed and bah fongooed. These are books for the whole fuckin’ family, if the name of your family is Manson.

I felt a little sorry of Muller who handled Ellroy’s antics with his usual cool charm, but had a hard time interviewing the author. It was great seeing L.A. Confidential on the big screen; previously, I had only seen it on television. The production, acting, and look of the film was stunningly good. It holds up really well and is a great homage to films noir from the past, the kind that Muller introduces on TCM every Sunday morning (except for August’s “Summer Under the Stars”).

Inside the Music Box Theatre with live organ music before the show

Noir City Chicago continues through August 31. For a complete list of films on the schedule, click here.

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