From December 1st to the 7th, films, books, and forays into the world of music, all in the name of the most popular and representative genre of the 20th century
Daniel Pennac, winner of the 2023 Raymond Chandler Award and author of the famed literary saga, his Malaussène novels, will take center stage on the opening day of the 33rd edition of Noir in Festival, running December 1-7 in Milan. Directed by Giorgio Gosetti, Marina Fabbri, and Gianni Canova (IULM Delegate), and promoted by the MIC’s General Directorate for Cinema, with the support of IULM University, Noir in Festival – with partners the Cineteca Italiana, the Casa Manzoni, the Lombardia Film Commission, l’Institut français Milano, Lo Scrittoio, Rizzoli Galleria, il Circolo dei Lettori, and the Milano Film Network, and under the aegis of the Municipality of Milan – maintains its standing as the most original festival in the mystery vein, packing in cinema, literature, news, and history.
“Our selection this year,” declare Marina Fabbri and Giorgio Gosetti, “leans towards a fresh discovery and a wide range of themes and styles. Indeed, we like to think that the most popular, most representative genre of the 20th century has discovered new worlds and new cross-pollinations in the new millennium. And it’s our job to explore this changing scene thanks to the talent of directors, writers, and authors.”
There will be eight films in the international competition, all Italian premieres held at the Cinema Arlecchino; seven special events and out-of-competition titles; and six finalists for the Claudio Caligari Prize for the best Italian film in the genre this year. As every year, five Italian noir novels are shortlisted for the Giorgio Scerbanenco Award, the ceremony once again held at Casa Manzoni, and thanks to the Lombardia Film Commission the novelty of a new Scerbanenco Award, for Novels on Screen. In addition, eleven authors will meet audiences at the Rizzoli Galleria and seven events will unfold on the IULM Campus, including a masterclass with Daniel Pennac, a talk with Gabriele Salvatores about the noir universe, and an event paying homage to the late Cormac McCarthy, his novels, his life, and the films.
A highlight of this edition is the event devoted to historical mystery novels on December 2nd, specifically the story of Marianna de Leyva, the famous Nun of Monza in Manzoni’s The Betrothed. Organized by Cinzia Masotina and Marina Fabbri, with the collaboration of the National Center for Manzonian Studies and the Casa Manzoni, the event will bring together scholars Mauro Novelli and Daniela Brogi; novelists Giancarlo De Cataldo, Luca Crovi, Marina Marazza, Ben Pastor, and Marcello Simoni; and filmmaker Marco Bellocchio.
Hotly-awaited film premieres include: the new film by Neil LaBute, Out of the Blue, starring Ray Nicholson (yes, son of) and Diane Kruger; The Goldman Case by Cédric Kahn, one of the greatest surprises at Cannes this past year; Golden Leopard winner Critical Zone by Ali Ahmadzadeh, a true-life thriller about Tehran underground under the Ayatollahs; and Italian titles Runner by Nicola Barnaba, starring Matilde Gioli and Francesco Montanari and The Garbage Man by Alfonso Bergamo, starring Paolo Briguglia and Tony Sperandeo. Then there are the Israeli rap-fueled noir film The City by Amit Ulman; the provocative queer-thriller Femme by Sam H. Freeman and Ping Ng Chong; Oscar®-nominee The Ashes of Time by Loïc Tanson; and the animated series Italica Noir: i ferri del mestiere, about Milan’s “mala” mobsters, narrated by Jake La Furia.
Noir’s literary contingent this year features Germany’s star noir novelist Harald Gilbers with (Endzeit), Giancarlo De Cataldo with his Colpo di ritorno (Einaudi), Donato Carrisi (L’educazione delle farfalle, Longanesi), best-selling Canadian author Ashley Audrain (The Whispers), Giampaolo Simi (Il cliente di riguardo, Sellerio), the magic Deepti Kapoor with Age of Vice, and the founder of Virgilio.it, Fausto Gimondi with Fortuna criminale (Longanesi), presented by Camila Raznovich.
Among the A-list of Noir guests in 2023 and unmissable events, may we suggest a detour into contemporary music with the book by Linus and Rolling Stone writer Giovanni Robertini, Morte di un trapper (Harper Collins); a reading by Nina Zilli and author and filmmaker Cinzia Bomoli of passages from the latter’s Non dire gatto (Ponte alle Grazie); and Pivio sharing with audiences the noir music made with Aldo De Scalzi (and the Diabolik vinyl records)? Plus the evening event arranged around Daniel Pennac by the Centre Culturel Français, with a screening of The Scapegoat (by Nicolas Bary, starring Bérénice Bejo and Emir Kusturica) and lastly, the ‘rediscovery’ of one of Marco Bellocchio’s most original films, Blood of My Blood, an intense and personal historical investigation of women forced into nunhood in the 17th century, with echoes of the famous episode from the novel by Manzoni.
“The choice of Daniel Pennac for our ‘Nobel’ for noir fiction,” declare Marina Fabbri and Giorgio Gosetti, “is emblematic, in a sense, of our entire program this year. An author who defies conventions and crisscrosses between genres in his ironic, disorienting way, Pennac leads us into unexplored territories of the mystery novel, where reality and the unexpected, the social context and sheer imagination, and comedy and drama all prevail over the tradition of the classic noir novel and power it into the present. The very spirit of such a ‘transition’, after all, we wanted to bring home courtesy of the artistry of Manuele Fior for our poster, where Milan is poised between the antiquity of its Duomo and the skyline of a futuristic metropolis.”