NOIR CITY 15 is coming!


Alan's sporadic takes on Film Noir and other aspects of pop culture

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Posted by on in Commentary
    Grandfather lit up a Salem and recalled the young Joan Crawford as we sat around the dining table.  “She would do anything with anybody,” he said with a knowing wink.  Grandmother shushed him with  “Alfonse!” as she and Mom cleared the table.   Mom stamped her foot on the kitchen floor, interrupting the cat licking the butter stick on top of the table. Grandmother Levy laughed and recalled a story involving a cat and her Mother who had been a six-gun toting Texas constable.    A reelection ink blotter for Great-Grandmother Meeks as Constable of Bexar County   My brother David excused himself to play the piano. The Scrabble board made its ritualistic appearance.  Alfonse and Dad were serious players who squared off with a large dictionary staged next to the board to settle word disputes.  David’s rendition of a Cole Porter standard filled the room as I resumed...
Alfonse at work

Posted by on in Reviews
Twilight Time releases a restored Blu-Ray of John Huston’s essential Moby Dick (1956)     In the film, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962), there is a beach scene with an alluring ingénue telling James Stewart that she began reading Moby Dick but gave it up because, “who wants to read a story about a fish.”  Watching Hobbs at a tender age, I didn’t get the joke and asked my father who gave me a quick tutorial about Melville’s novel, whales and whaling. We subsequently visited New Bedford, Mass.—the 19th century whaling hub that opens Melville’s narrative—and visited the Whaling Museum. I was hooked. At the time, dinosaurs mesmerized me, but as none were readily available, whales became a surrogate fixation.   I was further transfixed after reading a schoolboy version of Melville’s tome and repeatedly watching John Huston’s Moby Dick on local television.  Along with the brilliant acting and dialogue, I...

Posted by on in Film Noir Events
The late spring and beginning of summer is my favorite time of the year in Southern California.  The roses are in bloom, the temperature in the San Fernando Valley hasn’t yet reached the upper extremes of a pizza oven and the birds sing all day.  It is also the time for cinematic darkness. The annual NOIR CITY, HOLLYWOOD film festival opens this Friday for its 18th season at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.  It is difficult for me to believe that I’ve been attending this festival since a screaming Lawrence Tierney was 86ed from the theater lobby. I’ve also been the co-programmer and co-host with my inspired comrade in noir, Eddie Muller.  With the American Cinematheque’s stellar programmer Gwen DeGlise, we have put together some memorable programs during the past decade, but perhaps none better than this year’s fest that opens on Friday April 15.    In addition to opening the...
Los tallos amargos 4

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