Films, books, music, talks, and the numbers for the Festival, mindful of times past and what’s around the corner
Fifteen Italian film premieres in competition, out of competition, or as special event screenings; twenty-four literary conversations held at the Rizzoli Galleria bookshop, the Casa Manzoni, or IULM; twenty-one talks livestreamed and available online, for a total of over thirty-five hours of content; sixty Italian and international guests; an audience coverage, in person in the theaters or as online viewers, of 300,000 people, with over 15,000 web interactions; eight awards bestowed, among them the Raymond Chandler Award, on Daniel Pennac; the 2023 Giorgio Scerbanenco Award, on La fine è ignota by Bruno Morchio; the Black Panther Award, on Femme by Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping; the 2023 Caligari Prize, on Last Night of Amore by Andrea Di Stefano; and the Luca Svizzeretto Prize, on Tony Sperandeo.
These are just some of the numbers for the latest edition of Noir in Festival that has come to a close. Now in its 33rd year, Noir has a history that has ranged from the coast at Viareggio to the snows of Courmayeur, and now, since 2016, the sprawling urban chiaroscuros of Milan, which our poster this year, drawn by Manuele Fior, has captured perfectly. Ours is a ‘ritual’ celebrated year after year, with a twist in 2023, the 150th anniversary of author Alessandro Manzoni’s death: a return to one of our roots, the historical novel, which has influenced noir narrative itself greatly, and still does. The conference Manzoni and Noir, a joint collaboration with the Casa Manzoni, the National Center for Manzonian Studies, the Circolo dei Lettori, and Lo scrittoio, gave the topic a thorough reappraisal, from the iconic author’s own day to the present.
Over the course of the festival this year, the forays into the more distant past made by our authors, such as Ben Pastor and Marcello Simoni, gave way to an investigation in Milan in the 1980s, by newcomer Fausto Gimondi, and the modern tales told by Jake la Furia in Italica Noir, only to make landfall in our contemporary life, as described in a lively selection of films in and out of competition (half of them Italian), all titles that speak to the tensions of today and the nightmares of tomorrow.
“It’s just the way we are,” declare Noir in Festival directors Giorgio Gosetti and Marina Fabbri, along with co-director Gianni Canova at IULM, “we just can’t cling to an idea of the noir genre written in stone, immobile, packed with sclerotic clichés. Everything is noir: it’s all around us, from the tragedies in the news to trap music; from tiny personal apocalypses to epic trials and cases solved or unsolved that made history. Our selection of films, books, TV series, and graphic novels offers ample proof, with its investigative and analytical flair, and points of view that may be completely original, even unsettling.
“The enthusiastic participation of our audiences, in person or remote; the spirited generosity of our guests – Brando De Sica, Óskar Þór Axelsson, Jake La Furia, Loïc Tanson, Paolo Briguglia, Harald Gilbers, Giancarlo De Cataldo, Donato Carrisi, Ashley Audrain, Nina Zilli, Camila Raznovich, Deepti Kapoor, Christophe Mercier, Lyda Patitucci, Antonio Pisu, Andrea Di Stefano, Davide Gentile, Gabriele Salvatores, Pivio & Aldo De Scalzi, and many more; the marvelous hospitality we received at IULM, Rizzoli Galleria, the Cineteca Milano Arlecchino, Casa Manzoni, and the Institut français Milano, and the invaluable contribution of the Ministry of Culture’s Directorate General for Cinema and Audiovisual, IULM, and Cinecittà news – all attest to the fact that Noir is a unique asset today, and tomorrow as well. Our mission is to safeguard both its origins and its new iterations in the years to come. Thanks to all, for being at our side and for guiding us into the future.”