Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403 Map
Thu, Aug 15, 2019 - Fri, Aug 16, 2019
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THE NEO-NOIR OF JOHN DAHL

A native of Billings, Montana, John Dahl got hooked on the movies by A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and eventually relocated to Los Angeles to learn how to make them at the AFI Conservatory. Numerous shorts and music videos later, Dahl made his feature debut with KILL ME AGAIN. Starring Val Kilmer as a private detective hired to fake a woman’s death, the thriller falls squarely into neo-noir territory. It would not be the last time the writer-director would visit the genre.

“When the audience is too aware of the style, it’s deadly,” he noted in a 1994 Los Angeles Times interview. Reflecting on a favorite, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, Dahl explained, “style is not what drives that film. It’s the psychology of the characters.” His own films center on moral protagonists in an immoral world as they try to set their lives straight after an injustice or a self-imposed affliction. “The element I like the most is betrayal and mistrust, the B-movie quality of that sleazy world.”

There’s plenty of betrayal to go around in follow-up RED ROCK WEST, in which Nicolas Cage stars as a drifter mistaken for a hitman who takes full advantage of the situation. In THE LAST SEDUCTION, femme fatale Linda Fiorentino plays lover Peter Berg and husband Bill Pullman (who had once been a teacher of Dahl’s at Montana State University) against one another. Matt Damon and Edward Norton spend more time handling cards than guns in poker drama ROUNDERS, but the stakes and the suspense are just as high.

Series compiled by Chris LeMaire. Program notes by John Hagelston.

Aero TheatreThu, Aug 15, 2019 - Fri, Aug 16, 2019
Buy Tickets SHARE

Films in this Series at the Aero

Director John Dahl In Person!
Thu, Aug 15, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Director John Dahl In Person!
Fri, Aug 16, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre