Noir Retrospective

Sicko is just the latest volley. With Double Indemnity, director Billy Wilder fired the first shot in Hollywood’s war against the insurance industry 63 years back, turning a story of murder, lovers and the fine print of life-insurance policies into what might be the definitive American film noir. Noir, of course, is the Frenchy catch-all term for crime films of knotted plot, dubious morality and shadows piled upon shadows. As such, Double Indemnity is black as a cavity, lit only by the script’s wit and Barbara Stanwyck’s radiance — and maybe, in the case of this free outdoor screening, the moon and the lights of downtown Lawrence.
Tonight’s screening starts at 9:15 at the parking garage at Ninth Street and New Hampshire. Live music precedes the film, and the first 250 audience members get free popcorn. It’s part of the once-a-month Lawrence summer noir festival. In August, catch The Big Clock, a 1948 release that served as the opening salvo in Hollywood’s war against time itself, which has lately resulted in the Battle to Laminate Every Inch of Nicole Kidman’s Body.

Lawrence Summer Noir Film Festival

Thu., July 5, 9:15 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 2, 9:15 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 6, 9:15 p.m.