Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm Younger Than That Now

Roland Man sent me the link to this video, and Christopher Mills--who's in it too--posted it on his blog as well, but in case you haven't seen it, check it out. It's from Coast Con in Biloxi back in the day.

CoastCon was a busy spot for Southern fandom, and dropping in was always a blast.

I'm interviewed at about 4:02 or so, and they did a great shot of my book Blood Hunter.

I can remember the guys setting up the shot and doing the interview, but I'd never seen it until yesterday. It aired after I left town. I think I still look about the same, right?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Netflix Noir

With cable/satellite channels increasingly becoming an interchangeable array of pointless reality programming, Netflix is increasingly my refuge when I find sofa time. Wait five minutes, and some films below might become unavailable, but as I write this, Netflix "Watch Instantly" has an array of film noir classics available for streaming.

Laura: One of my favorites, a true mystery with clever plot twists, based on a novel by Vera Caspary. Dana Andrews, who'd later cope with dark runes in the horror classic Night of the Demon, is the detective hero looking into the murder of the title character played by Gene Tierney. An also pre-horror Vincent Price rounds out the cast.

Experiment in Terror: A late-era noir and FBI procedural based on the novel by The Gordons, who also penned That Darn Cat. It's directed by Blake Edwards. Glen Ford is The Gordons' recurring Agent Rip Ripley, out to help bank teller Lee Remick thwart a psycho's push to force her help in embezzlement.

Elevator to the Gallows: French noir from Louis Malle, this is James M. Cain, Jim Thompson-style crime drama with the focus on scheming lovers and the slow unraveling of their perfect murder.

Gilda: Source of the iconic, Rita Hayworth hair-tossing moment, this is grand-style thriller with a young Glen Ford looking like Jake Gyllenhaal. Set in South America the tale revolves around double crosses in a casino and around a tungston mine.

The Dark Corner: Lucy before she was loved is secretary to a wrongly accused private eye. They have to solve a murder together before they can move on with their lives.

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers: Van Heflin's the good guy. Barbara Stanwick's the femme fatale, and Kirk Douglas is a crooked D.A. When Heflin returns to the town, his potential knowledge of a years-old crime stirs trouble and complicates his romance with good-girl-with-a-criminal record Lizabeth Scott.

I Wake Up Screaming: Worthy for the camera work alone, Victor Mature and Betty Grable cope with a tough cop and a bum rap.

For the rental que: Detour, signature noir unfortunately requiring a disk from Netflix though free on archive.org. Directed by The Black Cat's brilliant Edward G. Ulmer on a real shoe string, this stars Tom Neal as a traveller with a sad tale of a dark encounter with misunderstanding and an exploitive blackmailer.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Breaking Radio Silence From Down in the Hole

I received an e-mail yesterday from my master's program. How would I like my name to appear on my diploma?

And the angels sang.

Seems like a good time to break radio silence, or blog lethargy.

A few things could still go wrong, but I think that's a guide with a candle at the end of the tunnel and not the express train.

A few other things are looking positive also, so while life's never perfect, it's nice to lean back for a moment this weekend and draw a deep breath, even as beyond all the times insist on being interesting.

I wish I could find the exact quote, but Alexander Solschenizyn once wrote of looking at apple trees after a rain.

As long as there are moments like that, he noted, it's possible to go on and persevere a little longer.


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