Japanese noir, Monicelli in San Seb spotlight

Festival organizers announce retrospectives

MADRID -- The 56th San Sebastian International Film Festival will honor Japanese film noir and Italian director Mario Monicelli with retrospectives.

This year's festival, set for Sept. 18-27 in Spain's northern Basque region, will showcase about 40 comedies and dramas from Monicelli's filmography.

Organizers said Monicelli is "responsible for what was perhaps the most coveted piece of comical effervescence, 1958's "Big Deal on Madonna Street."

The Japan in Black sidebar will focus on Japan's prolific detective and criminal movie production, which remains largely unknown in the West.

"Japan skillfully endowed its detective stories with a national touch: the gangster sense of honor, the patient research work carried out by the police, the torment of the outcast criminal or the portrayal of a society badly hit by postwar chaos," festival organizers said.