Crowds flock to Harvard Film Archive’s ‘Noir All Night’ movie marathon

2 min read

Armed with coffee and energy bars, Lily Tran and Generoso Fierro were still energized after the first two movies in the Harvard Film Archive’s “Noir All Night” movie marathon on August 31-Sept. 1. “I love film noir, and I’m trying to learn more about it,” Tran said. “I am definitely in it for the long haul.” Seven noir films from the archive’s collection were featured in the 12-hour run. HFA director Haden Guest and programmer David Pendleton worked collaboratively to organize the event.

“The genre was Haden’s idea; he’s a huge film noir fan,” said Pendleton, who has worked for the HFA for seven years. “We thought it was a good idea because these movies can take a serious look at postwar corruption, while also being zippy and easy enough to follow.” He also noted that the variation in plots—from heists to murders to political corruption—make them engaging even when several are watched consecutively.

Guest drew up a tentative list of titles for the marathon, and Pendleton arranged the order. “I wanted to start with one that was better known, then show four rarer films and end with two very popular titles,” he said. “Many of these films have not been screened very often.”

Ira Blackman, an HFA regular, commented that the event had drawn a “great audience” and that Pendleton had done “a great job putting together the lineup.”

Pendleton hopes to organize more of these all-night marathons. “It’s something that used to be popular. Besides, I really enjoy staying up all night and watching movies.”