Sunday, February 01, 2009

NOIR CITY 7—Eddie Muller's Introductory Remarks to Johnny Stool Pigeon

Though many Universal titles were burned up in the studio lot fire of June 2, 2008, the "silver lining" to that tragic event is that Universal has struck new prints of many of the films destroyed in that fire. This has been to Noir City's advantage in that Johnny Stool Pigeon—"which once was rare and almost impossible to find"—arrived in a freshly-struck print. The same for Shakedown, also in this year's line-up, as well as Alias Nick Beal and the restored version of The Killers, which closes Noir City this evening.

Alycia Tumlin—Miss Noir City herself—to the Castro stage, Muller asked her how it felt to represent the Noir City film festival. "Let me hide my stacks of money," Alycia began. "It feels wonderful. I knew when I saw the ad on Craigs List that I was Miss Noir City. I knew that—if they didn't know that—it was my job to show them. I sent in my photos and through some emails and strong encouragement, I was chosen." Muller pointed out that in the mock-up newspaper on the Noir City 7 poster, the photograph beneath the headline "Black Widow Revealed" is the actual audition photo provided by Alycia. He admitted that when they saw the photo they thought, "Hmmmm. Kind of the Eve Arden type." That was not exactly what they had in mind for Miss Noir City; but, when Alycia showed up for the audition (i.e., photo session), they understood she possessed "other assets" which made her somewhat more likely to be chosen as Miss Noir City. Muller added that—along with Alycia's audition photo on the Noir City 7 poster—there is a publicity photograph of Eddie Muller's father above the lefthand column when he was Mr. Boxing for the San Francisco Examiner.

Now in its seventh year, Noir City decided to honor Linda Martinez who has attended every single screening of each edition of the festival since its inception. She was invited to come on stage to have her photo taken with the Czar of Noir and Miss Noir City. "Isn't this grand?!" Martinez beamed. "I really didn't know Linda before this festival started," Muller explained, "but in an odd coincidence it turns out that Linda is also an actress and is somewhat of an underground film femme fatale as she has been in a number of motion pictures made by my—shall we say—filmmaking mentor at the San Francisco Art Institute: Mr. George Kuchar. Linda is the star of a number of George's movies." Further, "in an absolutely astounding bit of San Francisco trivia, Linda is also one of the original girls in the fishbowl at Bimbo's 365 Club."

David Allen, Noir City's official photographer, then took a photo of Linda Martinez, Eddie Muller and Alycia Tumlin with the Castro Theatre audience behind them; but, not before Eddie shouted over his shoulder: "No rabbit ears!"

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