November 21. 2014 2:01AM
Catch a series of free noir films in Kittery
The International Film Noir Series at the Kittery Community Center in Kittery, Maine, is exploring the characteristics that create the noir genre, as well as how the work reflects the society of each film’s country of origin.
Film noir is a French term created by Nino Frank in 1946, who began to write about the trend in film as a major theme in the industry’s development.
Hollywood had up until then dominated the film industry, and during the war had given the world the sunny, upbeat musicals of Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and many others. But then filmmakers turned their post-war fears into the dark, frequently depressing plots of murder and betrayal.
The threat of nuclear annihilation and that was anxiety provoking. Frank summed it up by saying, “Classic film noir developed during and after World War II. It was a style of black and white American films that first evolved in the 1940s, became prominent in the post-war era, and lasted in a classic ‘Golden Age’ period until about 1960 (marked by the ‘last’ film of the classic film noir era, Orson Welles’ ‘Touch of Evil’).”
This series, with attendant discussion, will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday evenings. All films are free and open to the public.
The schedule is as follows:
Nov. 24: “Puple Noon” (France)
Dec. 1: “Gomorrah” (Italy)
Dec. 8: “Rashomon” (Japan)
Dec. 15: “Virgin Spring” (Sweden)
Dec. 22: “Asphalt Jungle” (United States)
Leading this series is Carol Glaser, a retired English and drama teacher with a varied background. Before retiring in 1989, as a teacher from Syosset High School on Long Island, N.Y, she taught at C. W. Post College as well. She was assistant metropolitan editor of the New York Herald Tribune for eight years, until its close in 1966. Before that she managed a graphic arts firm in New York.
Glaser helped launch the film program and was film critic for The Music Hall in Portsmouth from 1991 to 1994. Her reviews ran in the Portsmouth Herald during that time. She has run film discussion groups at the Rye Public Library and the Portsmouth Public Library, and currently leads long-standing film discussion groups from her home.
For more information, call (207) 439-3800 or visit www.kitterycommunitycenter.org/star-theatre.
The Kittery Recreation Center is located at 120 Rogers Road.