Fabrice Mathieu created something new, and an homage to the shadowy, noir films he loves with two shorts: In the Shadow, creating a film from shadows and silhouettes, and Master of Suspense, a story built from Alfred Hitchcock's cameo introduction and cameo appearances.
No, the above quote is not the answer to “How many total episodes are there of the various “Law & Order” franchises?”. In actuality, those nine words conclude one of the most exciting films of the 1940’s (and the direct ancestor of Dick Wolf’s prolific franchise). Welcome to “The Naked City”. [more inside]
A visual tour of downtown Los Angeles, now and then:
The Ultimate Chinatown Filming Location Map of Los Angeles "The movie was released 40 years ago tomorrow, on June 20, 1974, and to mark the day we've mapped out all of its real-life locations, with help from this old LA Times article, The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations, and Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles. Take the Chinatown tour this way..."
Next weekend, The Showroom, an arthouse movie theater in Asbury Park, New Jersey, presents Bruce Noir — a screening and discussion series on film noir and its influence on the life and music of Bruce Springsteen. The series will be hosted by crime novelist Wallace Stroby (Kings of Midnight), who once loaned Springsteen a DVD copy of Two-Lane Blacktop, and will include appearances by Springsteen biographer Peter Ames Carlin (Bruce) via Skype and Jersey Noir photographer Mark Krajnak. The films being screened are Gun Crazy, Badlands, Out of the Past, Atlantic City, and Thunder Road. (Not screening is Woody Allen's Stardust Memories. It's not a noir, but as the story goes, a fan spotted him alone at a screening of that film and eventually asked him to come home and have dinner with him and his mother. Springsteen agreed, making him not just a world-class rock-and-roller but also an A+ film buff in the eyes of many admirers.)
Like Film Noir? Like podcasts? Here's Noircast.
Max Zorn makes translucent art with a scalpel and brown packing tape (though he has worked with blue and a bit of green). A self-taught "classical" painter, he turned to back-lit street art in May 2011, and now has a growing gallery of works that are inspired by American Realism/film noir.
Leonard Michaels' "The Zipper": Rita Hayworth is never seen disrobed in the movie, though it is threatened more than once. The atmosphere of dark repression and mysterious forces – the mood or feeling of the movie – might be destroyed by the revelation of her body. It scared me as she began her striptease dance in the nightclub. I didn’t want everybody to see her body, or even to see that Rita Hayworth had a body. [more inside]
Crime movie blog Where Danger Lives ranks the 100 greatest film noir posters. (Posts in countdown order inside.) [more inside]
Over the course of four months earlier this year, Dave at Goodfella's Movie Blog posted 100 (!) sharply written analyses of a wide range of classic Noir films. The top position was a bit of a surprise amid the obvious standards, but the real meat is in his informative takes on dozens of lesser-known gems. [more inside]
The Endless Night: A Valentine to Film Noir [slyt] A montage of scenes from classic film noir. [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.
Ann Savage, the femme fatale star of Edgar G. Ulmer's legendary noir Detour, died on Christmas day after a series of strokes. [more inside]
Grim Fandango, which was released in 1998, is considered by many to be one of the best Lucas Arts adventure games ever made. It tells the story of Manny Calavera, a travel agent working in the land of the dead. The game combines Aztec and film noir imagery to create a game that is wholly unique and still has a rabid fan base. Tim Schafer, the primary writer for the original (and a mastermind behind recently critically appreciated games such as Psychonauts through his company Double Fine Productions [previously]) has released the full 72 page design document that was written in 1996. [direct pdf link]. This is great reading for those who get nostalgic just thinking about the game. Here's the opening scene of the game to help you develop an appreciation, if you haven't done so already: youtube link
Otto Preminger died on this day 22 years ago at 79 years old, and was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY. [more inside]
The Bloody Olive - a 10 minute film noir in the spirit of the season. An interview about the film with director Vincent Bal.
What's the relationship between the rise of film noir and the national mood of post-war (WWII, that is) America? "Was noir simply a way of reanimating the tired conventions of the pre-war crime film? Or did we need melodramatic illusions potent enough to overcome whatever disillusions strayed briefly into our minds as we surrendered to the mighty engines of prosperity? Or was it one of those cycles - like biopics, westerns, sci-fi, etc. - that Hollywood mysteriously embraces and then just as mysteriously abandons?" Via.
Some of you may have seen the feature film Brick; I thought it one of the best of the year and among the better debuts I've seen in a long time. Writer-Director Rian Johnson offers up the shooting script and original novella for free on his site. Fun for fans of noir, high school flicks, or MeFites gaggle of screenwriters.
A Dozen Eccentric Westerns, Ten Neglected Science Fiction Movies, and Ten Overlooked Noirs selected by Jonathan Rosenbaum. A follow-up to an earlier post on offbeat musicals.
San Francisco in Film Noir. Conversation with Nathaniel Rich, associate editor of the Paris Review and author of San Francisco Noir.
Take the Village Voice's Noir Genius Exam. Created to promote the "Essential Noir: Classics of American Film Noir 1941-1958" film fest at the FilmForum. Nov26th-Dec 23. Difficulty: essay questions - good luck...