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5 Months, 5 Films

Do you love films and have an interest in learning more about how they can develop into radio shows and how they are made? THIS IS FOR YOU!

The State Theatre, the Prospect Theatre Project (PTP), and the Gallo Center Repertory Company (GCRC) announce the launch of “Modesto Noir,” a five-month-long series of films, radio plays, lectures, and discussion.

   From April to August, three of Modesto’s preeminent arts organizations will bring to the community monthly evenings dedicated to this unique and popular movie style. Film Noir describes classic American black-and-white movies of the 1940s and 50s, which feature dangerous deeds and love gone wrong, hardboiled detectives and deadly women, snappy dialogue, and bold camerawork.

   People are invited to screen the radio shows, as well as the films themselves. The State Theatre will host a free recorded lecture about each film and an online discussion of the film and its radio play adaptation. State Theatre Executive Director Kirstie Boyett will moderate the online Zoom discussions, whose guests will include the play directors, cast members, and technical specialists who brought these radio plays to life. Links to the events, as well as readings about the history and influence of Film Noir, will be found on the State Theatre website.

  The fun is set to continue on May 13th with a film discussion of two different noirs both entitled The Hitchhiker, a Gallo Rep radio play based on Orson Welles’s 1941 program, and Ida Lupino’s similarly titled but far different 1953 Hitch-Hiker film, one of the few films noir directed by a woman. Lupino herself gained fame as an actor in film and television, becoming one of the first independent female producers and directors in an era when women faced extreme challenges from the Hollywood establishment. Actors and others will join the online discussion on May 20th.

  On June 10th, the lecture will explore Anatole Litvak’s 1948 film Sorry, Wrong Number. The June 17th discussion will focus on the film and its PTP radio play adaptation, inviting the Prospect’s actors and technicians to talk about the project.

  A lecture about Frank Capra’s 1944 film Arsenic and Old Lace (not a true noir, though it does revolve around murder) will drop July 8th. On July 15th, the Gallo Rep cast and technicians will provide background into their radio play adaptation.

   The final event in the series focuses on one of the most famous films noir, John Houston’s 1941 The Maltese Falcon and the GCRC radio play, introduced by a lecture on August 12th and followed by a discussion with cast and crew on August 19th.