They were a couple of blokes from a small city in in England who started out messing around with instruments. Paul played the guitar and drums, and Phil the saxophone, but both were interested in electronic music by the likes of Kraftwerk. Phil also liked hip-hop, and Paul got into acid house in the late 1980s. One afternoon, Paul slapped together a happy little song based on a sample from a now-forgotten instrumental cover version of some pop hit, and called the little ditty Chime. Even before it was pressed on vinyl, DJs were asking for it, and Orbital was born. [more inside]
Maybe you already know about film noir, how Italian-born French film critic Nino Frank coined the term in 1946, and that Dashiell Hammett's book The Maltese Falcon was adapted for film 3 times in 10 years. Or perhaps you've just browsed through the detailed Wikipedia page, and found the list of film noir series and films to be daunting, and IMDB search provides a list that is lacking. Either way, Noir of the Week has a wealth of information if you crave more details, but focuses on one film per week if long lists are daunting. Not interested in this week's film? They have over 240 movies covered to date.
Early Female Authors of Hard-Boiled Fiction. Chester Himes and Early African-American Detective Novelists. The Detective's Code. The Femme Fatale. Just a few of the many fascinating offerings at detnovel.com.
The realistic style is easy to abuse: from haste, from lack of awareness, from inability to bridge the chasm that lies between what a writer would like to be able to say and what he actually knows how to say. It is easy to fake; brutality is not strength, flipness is not wit, edge-of-the-chair writing can be as boring as flat writing; dalliance with promiscuous blondes can be very dull stuff when described by goaty young men with no other purpose in mind than to describe dalliance with promiscuous blondes. There has been so much of this sort of thing that if a character in a detective story says, "Yeah," the author is automatically a Hammett imitator. Raymond Chandler, "The Simple Art of Murder" (1950)
In 1917, Dashiell Hammett, working as a Pinkerton detective in Butte, Montana, was offered $5000 to murder union organizer, Frank Little. Or was he? Maybe not. Anyway, Hammett quits being a detective and starts writing fiction. He draws on his Butte experiences to write Red Harvest about a lone detective who sets opposing factions in a corrupt city against one another and watchs the bodies pile up. Lots of people have wanted to make movies from Red Harvest. Akira Kurosawa did. Or did he? Maybe not. [more inside]