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Scarlet Street

Scarlet Street

Scarlet Street

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1945 / 103min / 35mm

DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG

CAST: EDWARD G. ROBINSON, JOAN BENNETT, DAN DURYEA, MARGARET LINDSAY

Introduced by Amy Sillman, who will be signing copies of the new book Amy Sillman: The ALL-OVER following the screening.

“As Robert Smithson wrote, ‘To spend time in a movie house is to make a “hole” in one’s life.’ As a painter, I like a black hole, where you and a bunch of hardboiled noir-ish characters can disappear into the full spectrum of nocturnal grey tones. So to find a story of an artist in this spectral tonal range is irresistible. Scarlet Street is the heartwrenching story of a guy with a painting habit, played by Edward G. Robinson. He has a square day job and a terrible mistake: loving a bad girl, a blonde schemer with a despicable boyfriend in tow. They’re aiming to screw Robinson out of whatever he has. When the camera pulls around to the front of the painter’s canvases, it’s as thrilling to see their surfaces as it would be to pan across any movie star’s face. And, directed by Fritz Lang, the movie’s got that extra Germanic kick of misery. The best and most tragic artist movie ever made.”

Program notes by Amy Sillman | Print courtesy Library of Congress