The eighth Film Noir Festival kicked off Friday night at the Castro Theatre with a double bill featuring André de Toth's Pitfall, a nerve-racking depiction of adultery and its messy aftermath, and George Sherman's Larceny, a crowd favorite from years past about two grifters targeting a wealthy widow. The festival continues through the end of the month with a collection of doomed romances and lurid thrillers, starring the genre's best-known stars (among them, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Veronica Lake) and directed by some of cinema's earliest innovators, including Fritz Lang, Henry Hathaway and John Huston.
Richard Linklater’s new comedy isn’t a biography of Orson Welles – based on Robert Kaplow’s bestselling novel, it portrays the late, great director at 22, brimming with confidence and a furious desire to take Broadway by storm – but it captures his larger-than-life spirit, the hubris of an artist reaching the height of his creative powers and fully aware of it.
The film is set in 1937, a week prior to the opening of Welles’ innovative reimagining of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar with the Mercury Theatre players. Richard (Zac Efron) is a fresh-faced rube, hired by Welles on a whim and thrust into the role of Lucius, which requires a strong set of pipes, a familiarity with the ukulele and the moxie to act opposite the director himself, playing Brutus.