This program is reserved for members of the Athenæum. Attendees are invited to participate in a guided discussion on selected films.
Board President Jonathan Bell guides a discussion of the film noir The Hitch-Hiker (1953; Ida Lupino).
The Hitch-Hiker falls within the small set of film noirs that are set outside of post-War American cities. It is a brisk, dark road movie set in the American southwest, in which two men leave their city and families behind to embark on a fishing trip. What could go wrong?
Discussion points will include what makes this movie classifiable as noir, and how it fits into the post-War American cultural landscape. Participants will also look at visual choices and themes and how they are used to tell the story. The Hitch-Hiker is also unique in that it was a rare studio film of the era directed by a woman.
Stream the film for free via the Library of Congress.
--Jonathan Bell is an architect, educator, and President of the Athenaeum's Board of Directors. More to the point, he is a cinema enthusiast and the author of "Shadows in the Hinterland: Rural Noir," collected in the book Architecture and Film.