Radiance Films announces its latest must-have Limited Edition Box Set World Noir Vol.1, which follows their highly acclaimed, expertly curated collector’s editions. This wonderful new collection features three outstanding 1950s films from across the globe that exhibit noir traits while evoking their home genre trends and hallmarks From Japan there’s Koreyoshi Kurahara’s enthralling I Am Waiting, the tension-filled French thriller Witness in the City from Edouard Molinaro and the gripping Italian feature The Facts of Murder directed by and starring Pietro Germi.
Though widely considered an American filmmaking style, film noir was first applied by French critics to the visual and thematic darkness of the flood of American films in the post-War period. Those films, often by European émigré filmmakers, were influenced by European filmmaking modes, notably French poetic realism and Weimar cinema. The American noirs that flourished in the 1940s and 1950s in turn influenced cinema around the world.
Now World Noir Vol.1, the first in a new series, aims to capture the trail of noir influence from around the world, from the pre-War period to the emergence of neo-noir, and expand our understanding and availability of this rich filmmaking tradition.
I Am Waiting (1957), directed by master of the genre Koreyoshi Kurahara, is the story of a failed boxer who meets a waitress with a dark past who has run afoul of an underworld syndicate that seeks to exploit her to its own ends. With dreams of escaping to Brazil, the boxer agrees to help, but neither the past nor the future turns out to be exactly what it seems. This foundational film from the pioneering studio of post-war Japanese noir, Nikkatsu, stars real life couple Yujiro Ishihara and Mie Kitahara, who ruled Japanese popular cinema of the 1950s both on and off-screen. The film is presented in a new restoration and gets its first ever Blu-ray release.
Witness in the City (1959), the French feature from director Edouard Molinaro, is adapted from the novel by celebrated writers Boileau and Narcejac (Vertigo, Les Diaboliques). When a wealthy industrialist throws his lover from a train, to make her murder look like suicide, her husband, Ancelin (Lino Ventura – The Valachi Papers), learns the truth and seeks vengeance. But there’s a witness to his bid for revenge and he becomes embroiled in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, that thrillingly plays out the streets of Paris. Molinaro wrings every ounce of tension from the narrative, focusing on evocative shadows and Parisian nightlife shot by Henri Decae (Le Samourai). The film is presented in a new 2K restoration and gets its first ever Blu-ray release in the UK.
The Facts of Murder (1959) is an Italian feature helmed by Pietro Germi (The Railroad Man) who also plays the lead. Inspector Ingravallo (Germi) is called to a Roman apartment building to investigate a robbery, but as he questions the tenants, he soon realises something is amiss. As the investigation progresses, what appears to be a simple robbery soon becomes a murder case. Loosely based on celebrated author Carlo Emilio Gadda’s novel, the film is shot with inky shadows reminiscent of film noir, while the mystery element prefigures Giallo films. Featuring a cast of wonderful supporting actors including Claudia Cardinale (The Day of the Owl) and Claudio Gora (Il Sorpasso), the film won multiple awards on its release including the Italian Golden Globe for Best Film (1960). Experience this film like never before in a brand new 4K restoration that’s presented in Blu-ray format for the first time.
BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION BOX SET SPECIAL FEATURES:
New 4K restoration of The Facts of Murder carried out by L’Immagine Ritrovata at the Cineteca di Bologna, presented on Blu-ray for the first time in the world
2K restoration of Witness in the City, on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK
High-Definition digital transfer of I Am Waiting, on Blu-ray for the first time in the world
Original uncompressed mono PCM audio for all films
Optional English subtitles for all films
Newly designed artwork based on original posters
Limited edition 80-page perfect bound booklet featuring new writing on the films by critics and experts including Barry Forshaw on noir represented outside the US, William Carroll on post-war occupation period in Japanese cinema, Hayley Scanlon on Japanese noir, an interview with Edouard Molinaro, Roberto Curti on the hybrid nature of Italian cinema, and Sam Wigley on 50s world noir from other countries
Limited Edition of 3000 copies, presented in a rigid box with full-height Scanavo cases for each film and removable OBI strip, leaving packaging free of certificates and markings