What we see in the final day of RARE NOIR 3 is the distinctive intensity of the dark character studies that emanate from those areas far from the influence of an institutional film industry. And then there is the ferment of post-WWII Japan that set in motion so many variants of alienation that spilled over into a dynamic, chaos-fueled cultural landscape. These three films drop us into these pressure-cooker realms and just keep raising the stakes…
The Chasers / Jakten
12:00 PM Two men attracted to the same woman take a hunting trip with her: matters get quickly out of hand…The Chasers gives us Norway’s analogue to Kostas Manoussakis, the engimatic Erik Lochan, who beats Jean-Luc Godard to the punch with an audacious narrative scheme that cuts up the tale of a long-simmering romantic triangle in ways simply not seen before. As this strange hunt plays out, you’ll often wonder: who is the hunted and who is the hunter? (Norway, 1959, dir. Erik Lochen, 94m)
Fire in the Night / Det brenner i natt!
1:50 PM The breakdown of a veteran newspaperman occurs in tandem with a rash of fires. Just what will the concerned social worker discover when she tries to help the increasingly dissheveled and distraught protagaonist? Fire in the Night is another finely honed dark tale from director Arne Skouen, familiar to Midcentury Madness attendees for his Lake of the Dead. (Norway, 1955, dir. Arne Skouen, 96m)
The Beast Shall Die / Yaju shisubeshi
3:45 PM After his father commits suicide over his mother’s scandalous affair, a post-graduate literature student undergoes a disturbing transformation. The Beast Shall Die gives Japan’s greatest actor Tatsuya Nakadai a role 180 degrees from his star-making turn in Kobayashi’s The Human Condition. Here he transforms from disaffected to psychopathic as a series of personal events turn him into a monster. Nakadai is fearless in his portrayal of a man whose principles curdle into a harrowing form of charisma that must be seen to be believed. (Japan, 1959, dir. Eizo Sugawa, 96m)