2017, Gravitas Ventures, 84 min, Canada, Dir: Grayson Moore, Aidan Shipley

When Valerie Walker (I’VE HEARD THE MERMAIDS SINGING’s Sheila McCarthy, in a towering performance) returns from prison after serving time for killing her neighbor in an apparent drunk-driving accident, she wants nothing more than to move on, reconnect with her daughters and reconstruct her life. When the victim’s son shows up at her door, however, it becomes clear that the past will not easily be forgotten. An austere and tautly constructed psychological drama, as well as a thoughtful exploration of the challenges of living with the after-effects of trauma, CARDINALS is an assured directorial debut for Moore and Shipley.

1945, Republic, 71 min, USA, Dir: Gustav Machatý

A perky female cabbie (Jane Randolph) gets embroiled in a dangerous triangle involving her suicidal writer husband (Nils Asther) and an aloof, high-toned doctor (John Loder) who takes a shine to her. Director Machatý, known for the scandalous 1933 ECSTASY, concocts a dreamy, off-kilter tale that touches all the tropes of “B” passion plays while also depicting the displacement of European artists adrift in sunbaked Hollywood. Part bargain-basement loopiness, part experimental art film ... and, not surprisingly, the last film the artistically inclined Machatý made in America. Featuring Karen Morley (at her best!) and Hugo Haas.

1956, Paramount, 95 min, USA, Dir: Michael Curtiz

Nearing the end of his legendary career, Michael Curtiz produced and directed this intricately plotted L.A.-based crime thriller headed by a cast of new discoveries. A tony seductress (Carol Ohmart) and her lover (Tom Tryon) overhear plans for a jewel robbery, and believe the scheme will be their deliverance from Ohmart’s possessive husband (James Gregory). Highlights include a guest appearance by Nat King Cole singing “Never Let Me Go” in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Culled from the Paramount vault, this 35mm print remains one of the least seen film noirs of the 1950s, featuring Curtiz’s use of the then-new Fujinon camera lens. You’ll only see this at NOIR CITY!

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