Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Hard-boiled Noir

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Amor de Cosmos
    replied
    Dark Passage is probably best known as a Bogart/Bacall movie. The one where Humph spends the first twenty minutes or so either with his back to the camera or swathed in bandages until the plastic surgery wears off. He’s an innocent escaped con, rescued by the wealthy Bacall who, feeds him, clothes him, gives him money and lets him stay in her luxury apartment. Becoming Betty Bacall’s pet sounds like a result to me, certainly better than life in San Quentin. However Bogart’s character, Vincent Parry, is still determined to take it on the lam.

    I’m always wary of reading the book the film was based on. You know the story, have a strong impression of the characters, so there’d better be something else happening. Fortunately in this case there is. Dark Passage was only David Goodis’s second novel but you’d never know it. The fearful interior dialogue of a hunted man is extraordinarily accomplished. The two main characters are also subtly different from the movie. Parry is a timid unambitious man, who only shows neither intelligence nor courage until pushed to the wall. His rescuer, Irene Jansen, is no Bacall either. Small, mousey but also determined and complex, her motives remain opaque until the book’s conclusion. There are also important elements that don’t appear in the film at all. One is Parry and Jansen’s shared love of Count Basie. His music fills Irene’s apartment, each track is listed, soloists are mentioned, how the piece reflects or accents Parry’s mood is highlighted. Good stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • Amor de Cosmos
    replied
    No, to my knowledge the only movie adaptations I've seen are Grifters and The Getaway. There's a lot of internal monologue in the two books I've read, which leads me to suspect they're not easy to film.

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied
    Did you see Coup de Torchon?

    Greatest JT adaptation in history, that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Amor de Cosmos
    replied
    Whoa... Impressive! I'm reading Pop.1280 right now as it goes.

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied
    Voorhees Cave in Paraguay.

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied
    Other Thompson titles in the Voorhees East Side facing Rivarola

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied
    Timothy Daltonesque Cover - Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied
    Hold on a sec....

    Leave a comment:


  • Amor de Cosmos
    replied
    Originally posted by jason voorhees View Post
    Being that I haven't read it since the late 90's, I should probably do so to see if it's as brilliant as I remember it.

    I just loved his use of italics to show the "true" self of the protagonist.

    The ending, I mean the ending, was 50-60 years ahead of its time when it came to Guantanamo and Supermax prisons.
    Darn, I read it on a Kindle... no italics! Yeah I was genuinely surprised it was written in 1952, it does seem way more recent.

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied
    Being that I haven't read it since the late 90's, I should probably do so to see if it's as brilliant as I remember it.

    I just loved his use of italics to show the "true" self of the protagonist.

    The ending, I mean the ending, was 50-60 years ahead of its time when it came to Guantanamo and Supermax prisons.

    Leave a comment:


  • Amor de Cosmos
    replied
    Why hadn't I read The Killer Inside Me before now? It's stunning. I suppose I'd heard of it. Way back I'd certainly seen movie adaptations of a couple of Jim Thompson's other book's (The Grifters and The Getaway) and thought they were fairly ho-hum, but this is magic, very dark magic. Intensely gripping but not an easy read, Thompson's protagonist is a schizophrenic sociopath and one of most compelling and terrifying narrators this side ofDostoevsky. Thompson's skill is teasing out hinted fragments of the back story while dropping in sudden and brutal violent acts. I'm going to read more, but writers like Thompson need to taken in small doses.

    Leave a comment:


  • Amor de Cosmos
    replied
    Oh yeah. Big fan of Eddie Muller. I really like his backgrounders, lots more info than you generally get from TCM's hosts. They take a break in August, so I'm looking forward to The Big Clock early next month, though I've seen it before it stands a second viewing.

    Leave a comment:


  • danielmak
    replied
    I'm guessing that readers of noir also dig film noir. If you are in the US:
    http://noiralley.tcm.com/schedule

    Leave a comment:


  • Benjm
    replied
    Crumley was also a professor of English Literature, not an uncommon day job among noir authors.

    Leave a comment:


  • Amor de Cosmos
    replied
    Ah Crumley! Probablyhad the most noir life of any writer:

    According to Thomas McGuane "He did cocaine six days a week. Ate five times a day. Drank a bottle of whiskey every day." He had five wives, five children, eight grand-children and two great grand-children. He also wrote at least a couple of damn fine novels, The Last Good Kiss and The Wrong Case are both excellent. Can't vouch for others but must do more research, because when he was good he was very, very, good.

    Originally posted by MonkeyHarris View Post
    I'll be getting Killing Commendatore when it's out in paperback.
    Someone loaned me a hardback copy, so I'll give it a go and report back.

    I was given a Granta subscription as a present, and I've found it surprisingly pleasurable (I'm not big on short fiction usually.) They did a fortieth anniversary issue in the Spring which was stuffed with good things. I've a bit more time these days to indulge myself, and The Believer has gone downhill since
    McSweeney's sold it so Granta fills the space.

    Leave a comment:


  • MonkeyHarris
    replied
    Wonder if Charlie Parker Plays Bossa Nova will be added to a collection. I've not read Granta in years and though the digital subscription sounds reasonable, I'd rather have a hard copy. Will have a look over the weekend. Sure I'll read it one way or another. Colourless Tsukuru was alright but I haven't rated any of Murakami's novels since Sputnik Sweetheart, though I'll be getting Killing Commendatore when it's out in paperback. I appreciate that he's experimented with form and tried to push boundaries but I don't think it's always worked. Perhaps I just like the Trilogy of the Rat and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle too much.

    When I've got through my current stash of books to read I'll scan this thread for Hard-Boiled recommendations and pick up what I can find. Heard good things about James Crumley's The Last Good Kiss. Will add that to the list.

    Leave a comment:


  • Amor de Cosmos
    replied
    Originally posted by MonkeyHarris View Post
    Murakami has spoken of rewriting and taking different directions in already published stories.
    Interesting you mention that. In the current Granta there's a story by Murakami in which he takes an article/story he wrote for a student newspaper back in the day, Charlie Parker Plays Bossa Nova, partially reprints it, then riffs of it. It's rather good.

    Leave a comment:


  • MonkeyHarris
    replied
    Thanks for that, Benjm. I read both of those some time ago and from what I can recall that sounds familiar. Many authors repurpose previous work, I know Irvine Welsh and Haruki Murakami have, and I've also used episodes or scenes from other projects (mostly unfinished) for new ones, though I've course I'm unpublished and nobody. Seems a natural thing to do for artists generally. Murakami has spoken of rewriting and taking different directions in already published stories. Reminds me of that Wes Anderson quote about seeing the final version of Bottle Rocket and the stark realisation that it was out there now and he could no longer edit or it. Probably why he's meticulous about every detail these days.

    Leave a comment:


  • Benjm
    replied
    Originally posted by MonkeyHarris View Post
    Someone mentioned Chandler and his depictions of LA. I've read several of his works and enjoy his style but there are always incidents lacking in sufficient description for me to understand exactly what happened. Been a while so can't isolate specifics but I'm generally left slightly empty at the end of his stories.
    That's a fair point. Plotting wasn't Chandler's priority; the narratives in his novels often have loose ends. He told a story himself of being asked by the film makers to clarify who killed one of the characters in The Big Sleep and not knowing the answer. This may have been exaggerated for comic effect but shows that he was relaxed about the issue in a way that an author who primarily prided themselves on their puzzle making, Agatha Christie for example, might not be.

    He was in the habit of recycling and mashing up old storylines from his magazine writing days, with slightly messy and sprawling results. His themes of corruption and symbiosis between the wealthy, criminal and governing classes are supported by the confusion but reaching a neat resolution doesn't especially matter. The Long Goodbye, his last fully realised novel, was written when he had become thoroughly bored with the requirements of the genre. This is most apparent in the time frame. Whereas hard boiled stories usually take place at breakneck speed over a day or two, in The Long Goodbye weeks and months pass without anything much happening.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X