After a long and productive day working on my book last Sunday I decided I had earned a reward, so my wife and I attended a double-feature at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, where the American Cinematheque and the Film Noir Foundation are unspooling their annual Film Noir festival. This is always an enjoyable experience, as the faithful gather to discover rare goodies from the world of dark shadows and rain-soaked streets, mostly from the 1940s and 50s.
In recent years, Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode, from the Film Noir Foundation, have stretched the definition of film noir to (and some would say past) the breaking point, but I don’t think anybody minds the opportunity to watch—
BOOKS THAT INSPIRED AMERICAN FILM NOIR (1950-1965)
by Kevin Johnson; foreword by Guy Maddin
As in his first volume, antiquarian book dealer and film buff Kevin Johnson has gathered and chronicled pristine first editions of the novels and plays that served as the basis for memorable film noirs, focusing this time on the period 1950-65. If you’re a book lover, just having the opportunity to gaze at perfect color reproductions of these vintage volumes, with their evocative dust jackets—or in some cases, paperback covers—is worth the price of admission. If you love the films, too, there is much to be learned from this survey—names of forgotten authors and obscure novels that...
I’ve been in the grip of a bad cold for almost two weeks; I somehow manage to get my most important work done and then I go to sleep every day. By Wednesday afternoon I was so frustrated—tired but restless at the same time—I decided I couldn’t stare at the wall (or my computer) any longer. So I did what I’ve always done when I’m at odds or feeling low: I went to the movies. I’d missed screenings of Pirate Radio and it looked interesting, so that’s what...
I chose to see. I also ingested about a half-hour’s worth of advertising and movie trailers—averting my eyes, and attention, for the films I really care about—in the nearly-empty auditorium of my local multiplex. (There’s a vampire comedy coming up called Transylmania that looks truly awful.)
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