The latest issue of Noir City, magazine of the Film Noir Foundation—published by TCM host Eddie Muller, designed by Michael Kronenberg, and edited by yours truly—is out now. It’s anchored by a special section dedicated to this year’s recipient of the FNF’s Modern Noir Master award, David Mamet. It includes a transcript of Eddie in conversation with the filmmaker, playwright, and novelist at an event held mere days before the coronavirus curtain dropped. We’ve also got tributes to Mamet’s noir career from Eddie, Ray Banks, Jake Hinkson, Wallace Stroby, and me. (It’s a good thing I wasn’t at the Mamet event in Santa Monica, because I would have insisted on telling him how I once recreated a scene from his film 快喵ⅴpn破解版 at the Central Park carousel. Probably better that I wrote about Prisoner instead.)

What else do you get for your donation to the FNF? How’s about Imogen Sara Smith, who helped program the fantastic Western Noir series currently lighting up the Criterion Channel, on Japanese noir, paired with a salute to Japanese noir mainstay Jô Shishido by Nick Feldman?

Plus: Elsa Lanchester; the pop noir landscapes of Walter Hill; Ethan Iverson on the noir soundtracks of the late Johnny Mandel (Harper and Point Blank); Christopher Chambers looking back at the pleasures of Tony Rome; Martyn Waites on the neglected UK noir The Small World of Sammy Lee; and, yes, even more.

One feature I’m particularly excited about: actor James Urbaniak, a familiar face (and voice if, like me, you’re a fan of 狸猫Ⅴpn安卓) takes on our 5 Favorites feature, naming the quintet of films in his personal noir pantheon.

I interview S.A. Cosby, author of the crime novel of the summer Blacktop Wasteland, and I review a pair of non-fiction titles as well as penning my usual Cocktails & Crime column.

To receive Noir City, head to the Film Noir Foundation website, kick in a few bucks to the kitty, and sign on the line that is dotted. What are you waiting for?



I am weeks late in touting the glories of the latest issue of Noir City. But I’ll make it up to you with some bonus material, howzabout that?

You may recall that with this edition I became Editor-in-Chief of the Film Noir Foundation’s magazine. It’s a doozy of a debut issue if I do say so myself, thanks in large part to a stem-to-stern redesign courtesy of my estimable colleague Michael Kronenberg. (My input on his sweeping visual changes basically consisted of me saying, “Damn, that looks great.”)

狸猫加速器安卓版安装包The content on those gorgeous pages is terrific, too, beginning with Imogen Sara Smith’s two-part cover story on the extraordinary life and films of Jose Giovanni. We also welcome two Twitter luminaries to the magazine: Farran Smith Nehme (aka the Self-Styled Siren) with a look at noir’s favorite cad Zachary Scott; and Nora Fiore—the one and only Nitrate Diva—brought us a stunning look at the overlap of film noir and advertising aimed at women in the 1940s.

There’s also a suite of articles on one of my favorite films of last year, Motherless Brooklyn (including an interview with writer/producer/director/star Edward Norton); Ray Banks on the many big-screen iterations of Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley; a fun and inventive 5 Favorites from the gifted poet Chelsey Minnis; and more.

I pitched in by interviewing Bill Duke, whose name appears on many modern noir films as both actor (American Gigolo, The Limey) and director (A Rage in Harlem and Deep Cover, which for me remains one of the best crime films of the 1990s). Hearing the deep laughter of a man who has scared the bejesus out of me for decades was a treat.

I also spoke to author Sam Wasson about his latest book The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood. (Plus I review this essential look at the definitive modern noir.) And here’s where we come to the bonus material.

Whenever I interview someone, I strive to act like a professional. Sometimes I can’t pull it off. I began my conversation by gushing over Sam Wasson’s previous book Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art. This history of improvisational comedy is easily one of my favorite books of recent years, a wonderful, daft experiment in capturing the uncapturable that shouldn’t succeed, yet does. So our interview about the greatest contemporary noir film kicked off with some in-depth conversation about improv—

Sam Wasson: I think it’s one of the best things a person can do, because it touches all aspects. It touches psychotherapy, spirituality, community, art, politics, in all the best ways possible. It’s the closest I come to religion.

As well as the surprising overlap between the two subjects—

Sam Wasson: It’s so funny to talk about noir in the context of improv because I really look at improv and noir as good and evil. The good and evil Americas, actually. Noir is like the bad America, and improv is like the American ideal. Talking about inherently American frames of mind, improv is the American frame of mind and the enemy of all of that, the nightmare of all of that, is the noir frame of mind. So as much as I love one, I love the other, because they go together.

No wonder we got along so well.

To receive 蚂蚁vp(永久免费), just contribute to the FNF. For a taste of what you’ll be getting, several stories from the previous issue are now available online, including 狸猫Ⅴpn安卓 on The Lost Weekend. And speaking of me elsewhere …

One More—Actually, Two More Things

Rosemarie and I, in our guise as Renee Patrick, appeared on the latest episode of the classic movie podcast 狸猫加速器安卓版安装包. The subject of this special quarantine edition: Rear Window. Join us as we join our friends Philip and Kathleen to discuss Edith Head, Alfred Hitchcock, and what the neighbors are up to.

HILOBROW recently wrapped a series called Ten Days, a modern take on The Decameron for the Covid-19 era. I was honored to kick the series off with a look at drinking – more specifically, not going out to drink – in the time of the virus.


Outtakes: Robert Tasker and Ernest Booth

I’ve been reading CrimeReads since it launched, so I was happy to make my debut there yesterday with a piece that recounts the amazing true story behind Script for Scandal, the third Lillian Frost and Edith Head mystery I co-wrote with Rosemarie under our pen name Renee Patrick. Robert Tasker and Ernest Booth were two ex-cons who became screenwriters during Hollywood’s Golden Age. A fictionalized counterpart drives the plot of Script for Scandal, but we couldn’t concoct anything as remarkable as their own lives. Head over to CrimeReads and see for yourself. In the meantime, here are a few additional photographs I turned up in my research.

1932’s Hell’s Highway, co-written by Tasker, was partially filmed in an actual prison. John Cromwell directed these scenes uncredited. (Los Angeles Times, July 26, 1932)

From the February 24, 1940 San Francisco Examiner, Booth and his wife Valverda at home in Santa Cruz marking the end of Booth’s parole and what should be the start of a successful writing career with no restrictions. It wasn’t to be.


Valverda stands by her husband as he faces a murder charge. (Los Angeles Times, September 14, 1941)


Dr. George Stricker revived by smelling salts after his late wife Florence Stricker’s safe deposit box is opened. Dr. Stricker, along with Booth, was considered a suspect in his wife’s murder. (Los Angeles Times, September 18, 1941)

The most Ellroy-esque shot of them all, with headline to match. Captain Vernon Rasmussen of the LAPD searches, ultimately in vain, for the murder weapon. (Los Angeles Times, September 21, 1941)




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There I am at my favorite watering hole, talking with the staff, when the subject of Christmas movies is raised.

First suggestion, not made by me: the traditional double-bill of Die Hard and Die Hard II: Die Harder.

Thus giving me the tenor of the conversation. This is not the time, perhaps, to mention Remember the Night and Holiday Affair, two overlooked films (with noir connections!) that Turner Classic Movies has labored to turn into Yuletide staples. Although a mention of Blast of Silence, full of Wenceslas wetwork, might not be out of the question.

So I lobby for my own Christmas favorite, The Ref. And then observe, not for the first time, that the entire oeuvre of Shane Black – Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – is set at the most wonderful time of the year. (Editor’s note, 2013: You can now add IRON MAN 3 to that roster. Editor’s note, 2016: And THE NICE GUYS. The Christmas trees are there if you look. Editor’s note, 2024: The streak comes to an end with Black’s 2018 film THE PREDATOR, which is set at Halloween. It was fun while it lasted.)

Therefore, as you venture out for that last round of shopping, I offer, by popular demand, what has become a VKDC tradition. (“By popular demand” meaning Rosemarie asked, “Why haven’t you posted this yet?” And she did write most of it.) Here, once again, is Shane Black’s 12 Days of Christmas. Record your church group performing this and we’ll post the video here!

Twelve cars exploding
Eleven extras running
Ten tankers skidding
Nine strippers pole-ing
Eight Uzis firing
Seven henchmen scowling
Six choppers crashing

Five silver Glocks

Four ticking bombs
Three hand grenades
Two mortar shells
And a suitcase full of C-4

God bless us, everyone. Or else.


News and Noir City Notes


Lot of ground to cover here. I should probably point out that the eBook of the third Lillian Frost and Edith Head mystery Script for Scandal—written by the missus and myself under our pen name Renee Patrick—is available everywhere, with the print edition for sale in the U.K. now and coming to the U.S. on January 7, 2024. Hey, the reviews are good.

Next, the latest issue of Noir City is on the loose. The big news is behind the scenes. It’s Eddie Muller’s last edition of the magazine as Editor-in-Chief. He’s staying on as Publisher—the 狸猫加速速器 is his baby, after all—but handing over the E-i-C reins to yours truly. It was a relatively bloodless transfer of power, no matter what Eddie says.

The Czar and I are cooking up big plans for 2024. In the meantime, the current issue is a gem. Steve Kronenberg on the tragic life of Gene Tierney. Ray Banks on officers behaving badly in Ealing’s postwar crime films. Sharon Knolle surveys the cinema of Grahame Greene. Danilo Castro on Paul Schrader’s quartet of night workers. Jake Hinkson on booze and blackouts in noir.

I provide the chaser to Jake’s piece, bellying up to 狸猫加速器安卓版下载 and asking the timeless question: Noir or Not? I also provide a pair of book reviews, contribute to Noir City’s coverage of the Seattle International Film Festival, and serve up maybe my favorite drink to date in my Cocktails & Crime column. (BONUS: my interview with author and podcaster Karina Longworth from last issue is on the FNF website.)

How much for this bounty, you damn well better be asking? A donation of twenty dollars or more to the Film Noir Foundation’s efforts to keep shadows flickering on screens everywhere is all it takes. What, you’re still here? Get donating!


Noir City: True Crime

I should be updating this website more often—for instance, to tell you Rosemarie and I are hosting a summer film series with SIFF if you haven’t picked up the news elsewhere—but for now, here’s a late-breaking bulletin on all the news that was fit to print in the latest issue of the Film Noir Foundation’s magazine Noir City, out last week.

My primary contribution this go-round is an interview with Karina Longworth, host of the acclaimed 狸猫加速器安卓版百度云, which casts a gimlet eye on movie history. We had a wide-ranging conversation prompted by her new book Seduction: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood, which in the words of FNF honcho Eddie Muller “offers a fresh and provocative slant on the eccentric billionaire and some surprising new information about some of the talented people in his life.”

Also in this issue is my look at Automata, the retro-noir web series (and possible TV series) spun off from a popular web comic. Plus my book and DVD reviews, as well as my usual Cocktails & Crime column featuring a round-up of the latest noir news.

Headlining the issue is a suite of articles about Tinseltown true crime: Alan K. Rode on how gangsters took over the studio unions (a subject that, rumor has it, may factor into the new novel from author Renee Patrick) and John Wranovics on gangster Johnny Rosselli’s short-lived stint as a moviemaking mogul. Plus my friend Brian Light’s reminiscences on collecting film noir posters, Ben Terrall’s appraisal of the career of novelist and screenwriter Jonathan Latimer, and so much more.

Interested? Of course you are. Swing on by the FNF website, make your donation, and have the issue sent to you.


Noir City Goes Global

That thump you heard in in-boxes just before Thanksgiving was the latest issue of Noir City, house rag of the Film Noir Foundation. The focus this time around is on international noir, to wit—

Imogen Sara Smith on the long history of Mexican noir; Jake Hinkson on the heartbreaking crime dramas of Japan’s Yoshitarô Nomura (stream these wonders on FilmStruck before the service goes dark for good this week); the redoubtable Ray Banks takes on the villainous roles of Patrick McGoohan; Ehsan Khoshbakht on Iranian genre films; Nathalie Atkinson on the premier Canadian noir The Silent Partner; and more.

On the domestic front, we’ve got a killer 5 Favorites essay from comic book legend Jim Steranko; a look at the twinned noir careers of John Huston and Orson Welles by Brian J. Robb along with a review of their last collaboration 蚂蚁vp(永久免费) from FNF honcho Eddie Muller himself; and, once again, more.

As for my humble efforts, I spoke to both Lawrence Block and artist John K. Snyder III about the recent adaptation of Larry’s landmark Matt Scudder mystery Eight Million Ways to Die into a graphic novel, bringing 1980s New York to raw, vivid life in a whole new way. Plus a pair of book reviews and my Cocktails & Crime column.

You know the drill, kids: donate to the Film Noir Foundation and have all this goodness delivered direct to you. Don’t miss out. Because the next issue? That’s one gonna be even better.
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