Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film

Photo of Michael Curtiz

Read the reviews for MICHAEL CURTIZ—A LIFE IN FILM

 

 

NOIR TALK Podcast with Alan K. Rode

I had the privilege of being a guest on the FNF’s NOIR TALK podcast with host Haggai Elitzur.

The discussion includes the recently concluded NOIR CITY, HOLLYWOOD festival and the upcoming ARTHUR LYONS FILM NOIR FESTIVAL in Palm Springs next month.

Enjoy the chat!

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The 2017 UCLA Film and Television Archive Festival of Preservation

He Walked by Night poster

One of my favorite cinema events is the annual Festival of Preservation (FOP) produced by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and presented at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood.

From classics like Ernst Lubitsch’s Trouble in Paradise (1932), early animated Paramount shorts, silent films, documentaries including The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971) and a 1965 KTLA-TV Nancy Wilson concert, the Archive’s preservation activities encompasses the full spectrum of the moving image.

The Film Noir Foundation has funded (whole or in part) nine different films that have been restored by UCLA along with the striking of numerous preservation prints of other noir titles.

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TV's Mightiest Mouthpiece—The Noir Roots of Perry Mason

1 Burr lg

CROOKED MOUTHPIECES date back to the era of 1930s porto-noir gangster movies (reaching their apogee with Louis Calhern’s turn in The Asphalt Jungle), but crusading defense attorneys who trod the line between cleverness and corruption proved to be scarce onscreen.

   And then came Perry Mason.

   His creator, Erle Stanley Gardner, was a self-taught trial attorney who began submitting mystery stories to the pulps in 1923. Over the next decade, under a number of pseudonyms, he turned out an average for 3,200 words per day (1.2 million words per year) describing the adventures of protagonists such as Lester Leith, Speed Dash, and Ken Cornin.  “By the time I’d learned my craft—and that took about ten years—I was ready to use my law background for my stories,” Gardner recalled in a 1965 interview.

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