Last month, my friend Wendy and I went to the NITRATE PICTURE SHOW in Rochester New York ( May 5 ~ 7 ). She traveled from Connecticut and I Amtrak’d from NYC’s Penn Station. I might as well make a full confession; I might as well face it…I don’t “get” Nitrate.


Nope, I don’t get Nitrate at all. Now if you do, that’s fantastic.  You are like the Man With the X-Ray Eyes who sees all and are getting all the fifty shades of richness of the print. As the curators said, nitrate films are the actual prints screened when a film was originally released for audiences. If I specifically do nitrate in the future, I know the sole draw for me will be my attending based on the films alone.

This trip was a series of firsts for me. First time in Rochester, first time traveling with my friend, and first time at the Nitrate film festival ( this, its third year ). And it was all good…and a little nerve~wracking. I’ll explain our adventure in the dark in the cottage section below. Click on the photos below to get to the nitty gritty of things. And thanks for reading:

  THE FESTIVAL                  THE FILMS                                THE B & B

COTTAGE                             TRAVEL SHOTS



  1. Love your posts. That being said let me comment.
    Jules Dassin’s NIGHT AND THE CITY has been getting a lot of play at film festivals across the country, and from my perspective rightfully so. It’s long been high on my film noir preference lists and a recent viewing ot it as the grand finale of the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs, CA. more than confirmed its esteemed placement in my book of all time really great noir movies. When you break down the essential elements of original noir cinema then Dassin’s classic scores high with positive check marks. It’s as dark, seedy, tangled, and unforgiving as you can get in preferred black and white with a cast of characters superbly suited for their slide into negativity. Criterion has honored Dassin with stalwart releases of his “BRUTE FORCE”, RIFIFI and “THIEVES’ HIGHWAY”, but their “NIGHT AND THE CITY” is still #1 to this aging viewer who has always had a thing for storm clouds, rain, fog, night, darkness, garbage cans, sewers and tortured and torn lives. I suspect noir gurus’ Alan Rode, Eddie Muller and Foster Hirsch would agree with me… at least in part.

    PS… let’s give notice to Mike Mazurski for his finest performance outside of Moose Malloy. He definitely was one of the most unforgettable character actors to ever grace the silver (and dark) screen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HELLO MAX!!!

      I’m in total agreement with your assessment of this still under~rated classic. For me a film noir has to have a protagonist who is put the through the ringer…in clear danger of losing everything. Practically throwing everything away as he tries to hold on to it tighter. That’s Widmark in this movie. It’s like he’s going down a whirlpool. It will not end well. I like your description of

      “…storm clouds, rain, fog, night, darkness, garbage cans, sewers and tortured and torn lives.”

      THAT is well~said. I love going to the TCM Classic Film Festival…but I feel I’m missing out on other festivals like the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival. Dang it, where will the money come from. Hmmm…if Only I could find a big lug who finds me irresistibly attractive who would rob banks for me and and…ooh, did I say that out loud? Jules Dassin should be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. And Mike Mazurki did an EXCELLENT job in this film. Enjoyed reading your comments here. Take care.


  2. Absolutely spot on reviews, and also a perfect description of our harrowing (well, maybe not so bad in hindsight) ride in the dark!

    I enjoyed the films you’ve written about, with Night and the City and the Ozu film as highlights of the festival for me. Surprisingly, Anchors Aweigh came in high up for me…. that peachy Technicolor closeup of Kathryn Grayson won me over completely. Those studios gave you your money’s worth during the war years.

    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer is a great favorite of mine, and it gave us a chance to relax and enjoy ourselves.

    The short subjects were terrific, and the documentary (talk about HARROWING) about the butcher market in Paris somehow transformed itself into a poem on the normalizing of heinous acts ….we all should be paying attention to that kind of poetry right now.

    I felt that the overall scope of the festival was getting at something bigger than just film, that there was a streak of resistance in the choices, which gave me some hope for our future.

    Most of all, I enjoyed being there with you and getting to dig in and be surprised by the choices. Thanks for everything. It was a trip and a half!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What was so damn humorous in SPELLBOUND they deemed appropriate to snicker outloud? What was the audience like demographic wise? Young Old? Seasoned NPS fest Regulars? Btw, I’m so sorry you suffered thriough such a horrific stay at the river cottage. But please forgive me for saying this- it was totally worth it to delight in your storytelling! Sometimes a foul adventure is worth it just for the story. Yes?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yo Kell! How ARE you? The demographic of the crowd, was really pretty mixed. Older people for the most part…but a large part were young. I think they were NPS fest regulars ( but this is only the festival’s third year. ) The slight snickering ( again I want to stress it wasn’t all out LAUGHING ) during “Spellbound” came with the couple first meeting ( you know, interest-at-first sight ). I thought for sure they would laugh at all those opening doors, but they didn’t. I dunno, something that looks corny to us now, seventy years later…they were tickled by. Ugh!

      As for our scary adventure…trust me ( if I survive a thing ) I always have in mind “This’d make a good story.” I’m IN it…and OUTSIDE it at the same time. L0L!!! Thanks for reading!!


  4. ANCHORS AWEIGH!!! I LOVE it, I NEED to see it on the big screen one day.

    And, the first time I saw Setsuko Hara I was completely mesmerized, captivated, you name it. And it’s the same way every time. I’ve only seen maybe 4 or 5 of her films, but she really had a quality beyond compare.


    • I love what you write about Setsuko Hara, I must see more of her films. You’ll swoon if you ever see “Anchors Aweigh” on the big screen. It was gorgeous. Thanks for reading my blog post. I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

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