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FIAF Virtual Cinésalon Series - Out of the Dark: The Mystery of Film Noir

Image: "Breathless" by Jean-Luc Godard

Broadway star Melissa Errico and New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik join forces to curate FIAF’s new CinéSalon series Out of the Dark: The Mystery of Film Noir. Running weekly from May 4 to July 5, 2021, the series marks the first in-person events presented in Florence Gould Hall by FIAF since March 2020. Certain films will also be available to stream virtually.

Incorporating both French and American examples—and some that involve French filmmakers who immigrated to America—the series explores the many sides of the ‘noir’ vision in cinema. A special attention is paid to the Franco-American dialogue at its core. Each film will be prefaced by an introduction by Gopnik or Errico created exclusively for FIAF. They will discuss each film’s place in the evolution of the genre, pointing out its musical and dramatic affinities with their concert Mystery on May 6.

Upcoming Screenings


In Person: Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 7pm - Online: Tuesday, May 4–Monday, May 10, 2021

Dir. Jules Dassin, 1955, 118 min
With Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Jules Dassin
In French, Italian, and English with English subtitles

After making such American noir classics as Brute Force and The Naked City, the blacklisted director Jules Dassin went to Paris and embarked on his masterpiece: a twisting, turning tale of four ex-cons who hatch one last glorious robbery in the City of Light.


In Person: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 7pm - Online: Tuesday, May 11–Monday, May 17, 2021

Dir. Marcel Carné, 1939, 93 min
With Jean Gabin, Jules Berry, Arletty
In French with English subtitles

One of the great works of 1930s poetic realist cinema, Le jour se lève was Marcel Carné’s fourth collaboration with screenwriter and poet Jacques Prévert. In this compelling story of obsessive sexuality and murder, the working-class François (Jean Gabin) resorts to killing in order to free the woman he loves from the controlling influence of another man. This new restoration, released in 2014, offers audiences Carné’s complete version, including censored footage removed by the Vichy government during the World War II occupation of France. — Criterion

Out of the Past

In Person: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 7pm - Online: Tuesday, May 18–Monday, May 24, 2021

Dir. Jacques Tourneur, 1947, 97 min
With Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming
In English

Tourneur’s landmark contribution to the noir genre features a private eye who has tried to escape his sordid past as a gas station owner in an off-the-beaten path California town. But his previous life catches up to him when a former client he once betrayed hires him to do another job, instigating a chain of events that examine our complex relationship with the past and question fate.


In Person: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 7pm - Online: Tuesday, May 25–Monday, May 31, 2021

Dir. Jacques Tourneur, 1956, 78 min
With Aldo Ray, Brian Keith, Anne Bancroft, Jocelyn Brando
In English, Spanish, Italian with English subtitles

Based on David Goodis’s 1947 novel, a man (Aldo Ray), through a series of bizarre coincidences, finds himself falsely accused of bank robbery and murder and is pursued by the authorities as well as the real killers, who think he knows the whereabouts of $350,000 that has gone missing.

Two Men in Manhattan

In Person: Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 7pm - Online: Tuesday, June 1–Monday, June 7, 2021

Dir. Jean-Pierre Melville, 1959, 84 min
With Pierre Grasset, Christiane Eudes, Ginger Hall, Jean-Pierre Melville
In French and English with English subtitles

A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women. Set against a smokey jazz score and featuring stunning black and white cinematography that beautifully captures the gritty streets at night, this is director Melville’s love letter to New York City and homage to the American film noir.

Elevator to the Gallows

In Person: Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 7pm - Online: Tuesday, June 8–Monday, June 14, 2021

Dir. Louis Malle, 1958, 91 min
With Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Lino Ventura, Jean Wall
In French and German with English subtitles

For his feature debut, 24-year-old Louis Malle brought together a mesmerizing performance by Jeanne Moreau, evocative cinematography by Henri Decaë, and a now legendary jazz score by Miles Davis. Taking place over the course of one restless Paris night, Malle’s richly atmospheric crime thriller stars Moreau and Maurice Ronet as lovers whose plan to murder her husband (his boss) goes awry. A career touchstone for its director and female star, Elevator to the Gallows was an auspicious beginning to Malle’s eclectic body of work and established Moreau as one of the most captivating actors ever to grace the screen.

Pépé le Moko

Online: Tuesday, June 15–Monday, June 21, 2021

Dir. Julien Duvivier, 1937, 94 min
With Jean Gabin, Lucas Gridoux, Fernand Charpin, Mireille Balin
In French and Arabic with English subtitles

The notorious Pépé le moko (Jean Gabin in an iconic performance) is a wanted man: women long for him, rivals hope to destroy him, and the law is after him at every turn. On the lam in the labyrinthine Casbah of Algiers, Pépé is safe from the clutches of the police—until a Parisian playgirl compels him to risk his life and leave its confines. One of the most influential films of the 20th century and a landmark of French poetic realism.— Janus


In Person: Tuesday, June 15 at 7pm, 2021

Dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955, 117 min
With Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse
In French and English with English subtitles

Before PsychoPeeping Tom, and Repulsion, there was Diabolique. This thriller from Henri-Georges Clouzot, which shocked audiences in Europe and the US, tells the story of two women—the fragile wife and the willful mistress of the sadistic headmaster of a boys’ boarding school—who are plotting revenge. With its narrative twists and terrifying images, Diabolique is a heart-grabbing benchmark in horror filmmaking, featuring outstanding performances by Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, and Paul Meurisse.


In Person: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 7pm

Dir. Julien Duvivier, 1946, 91 min
With Michel Simon, Viviane Romance, Paul Bernard
In French with English subtitles

Proud, eccentric, and antisocial, Monsieur Hire (Michel Simon) has always kept to himself. But after a woman turns up dead in the Paris suburb where he lives, he feels drawn to a pretty young newcomer to town (Viviane Romance), discovers that his neighbors are only too ready to suspect the worst of him, and is framed for the murder. Based on a novel by Georges Simenon, Julien Duvivier’s first film after his return to France from Hollywood finds the acclaimed poetic realist applying his consummate craft to darker, moodier ends. — Criterion


Online: Tuesday, June 22–Monday, June 28, 2021

Dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1959, 90 min
With Jean Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Daniel Boulanger, Jean-Pierre Melville
In French and English with English subtitles

Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for Cahiers du Cinéma. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, Breathless helped launch the French New Wave and ensured that cinema would never be the same. — Criterion

Tirez sur le pianiste

In Person: Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 7pm - Online: Tuesday, June 29–Monday, July 5, 2021

Dir. François Truffaut, 1960, 81 min
With Charles Aznavour, Marie Dubois, Nicole Berger, Michèle Mercier
In French with English subtitles

François Truffaut’s most playful film—part thriller, part comedy, part tragedy—Shoot the Piano Player follows the adventures of mild-mannered piano player Charlie (Charles Aznavour, in a triumph of hangdog deadpan) as he stumbles into the criminal underworld and a whirlwind love affair. Loaded with gags, guns, clowns, and thugs, this razor-sharp homage to the American gangster film is pure nouvelle vague.

More information here.

CinéSalon is supported by BNP Paribas and Sofitel. CinéSalon is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Series is curated by Melissa Errico and Adam Gopnik.