Just wanted to let you know the viewing for this weekend’s noir movies:
Touch of Evil and The Third Man
Guess this is an Orson Welles weekend. Apparently there are three versions of Touch of Evil: the original theatrical version, one based more on Welles’ 58 page proposal to the studio and a preview version which incorporates some of Welles’ reqeusts. Me, I’m sticking to the original version.
I’ll let you know my noir-ish thoughts early next week.
Posted in Ed, Mystery, Noir, The Third Man, Touch of Evil | Leave a Comment »
So, the other night I watched the noir movie Gilda with Rita Hayworth and a very young Glenn Ford. It was one of the movies mentioned in the book Dani Noir (http://2headstogether.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/dani-noir-by-nova-ren-suma-2/) by Nova Ren Suma. I really enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a Rita Hayworth movie. I could definitely watch more. And Glenn Ford was so young in it. They were both excellent and the on-screen chemistry was palpable. If Rita Hayworth isn’t the ultimate femme fatale, then no one is.
The movie definitely had that ‘noir’ feel to it from the dark, foggy Argentinian dockside beginning to the very end. However, the ending wasn’t noir-ish. I read another review which basically said the same thing–it called the ending a cop-out. I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to see if the movie ending was changed from the original story by E. A. Ellington.
If you are a noir movie fan, a pulp mystery fan, or merely a movie fan, Gilda is one movie that you should see. I’m contemplating adding it to my meager collection, that’s how good it is. Thank you Nova Ren Suma and Dani Noir for putting me on to these classics.
I watched The Postman Always Rings Twice (original great book by J. M. Cain) last night. It stars Lana Turner and John Garfield. Unlike Gilda, the movie setting isn’t dark, although the story is. The ending, however, is as noir-ish as you can get. Amazing. The only thing is: Lana Turner as a blonde doesn’t do anything for me. I don’t know why. As femme fatales go, Rita Hayworth beat her hands down. This is another great movie.
The next on my list is The Lady from Shanghai starring Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles.
Posted in Dani Noir, Ed, Gilda, Glenn Ford, James M. Cain, John Garfield, Lana Turner, Noir, Nova Ren Suma, Pulp Mysteries, Rita Hayworth, The Postman Always Rings Twice | Leave a Comment »
Kat Rosenfield, author of Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone (a great book, by the way) spoke to a group of YA librarians the other day (http://2headstogether.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/2-short-ones-from-two-heads-together/). Amelia Anne was her debut novel and although it’s been up for some awards, such as the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery, I’d still consider Ms. Rosenfield an ‘under the radar’ author. So, I asked her for some other under the radar authors and she recommended Nova Ren Suma, describing her as ’literary’. Ms. Suma has written four books one of which is housed in our children’s area and the rest in Young Adult.
I started with her debut novel Dani Noir, the children’s book and will read them in order of publication. Although I probably wouldn’t classify it as ‘literary’, it was certainly well written and totally enjoyable. Danielle (Dani) Callanzano’s life is in turmoil. Her parents are recently divorced (after her father cheated on her mother). Her father is remarrying. Her mother is constantly crying and Dani can’t forgive her father. She’s spending her summer at the Little Arts Theater in upstate Shanosha, NY watching Noir movies and envisioning her life as movie scenes, with Rita Hayworth as the femme fatale. Dani definitely has trust issues…if her father lied to her, who else is lying to her.
When Dani sees a girl with polka dot leggings leaving the theater projection booth (manned by Jackson, who is Dani’s friend Elissa’s boyfriend) Dani goes into noir mystery mode, trying to find out what the story is. Along the way, she learns a few things about herself, about friends, life and love.
Now, if you’ve learned anything about me from reading this blog it’s that I’m totally into pulp mysteries. (I found a few more anthologies to add to my collection. Some people, Susan, might call me obsessed.) And guess what…some of those pulp era mysteries (The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Laura, The Postman Always Rings Twice) have been made into some of the best movies. So, not only did I read a fun book, but I came away with a list of 17 Noir movies I need to watch. (I’m starting out with Gilda (with Rita Hayworth) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (with Lana Turner). If these stars don’t qualify as femme fatales, I don’t know who would.)
I am totally looking forward to reading Ms. Suma’s second book, Imaginary Girls.
Posted in Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield, Dani Noir, Ed, Imaginary Girls, Kat Rosenfield, Mystery, Noir, Nova Ren Suma, Pulp Mysteries, Susan | 1 Comment »
We just want to wish everyone a Happy Chanukah and a Happy Thanksgiving.
Posted in Ed, Holiday, Susan | 2 Comments »
You all know how much I was looking forward to Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield. Well, unfortunately I was somewhat disappointed. While Ms. Setterfield’s use of language is remarkable, the storyline and characters were somewhat less so, in my opinion. But, bear in mind, I’m a literary reader, meaning I read for the story, not the unlying, hidden meanings and symbolism, of which I’m sure there were many in this book.
An author recently posited on Facebook that the quality of books nowadays is being judged on whether the characters are likable and that shouldn’t be the criterion. I agree. However, you should feel something for the characters; love, hate, sympathy; something that will drive you further into the book. Does the character you love get the guy in the end (so to speak)? Does the one you hate get his/her comeuppance?
A book fails, again in my humble opinion, when you don’t feel anything for the characters and that is my issue with Bellman & Black. I felt nothing for the main character, William Bellman, throughout his triumphs and his miseries. He was a man who initially became a workaholic to drown out his sorrow and which ultimately separated him from the rest of society.
Let me know your thoughts on the book. I’d be really interested.
Posted in Bellman & Black, Death, Diane Setterfield, Ed | 7 Comments »
You know how you read a book and like it so much that you can’t wait for the author to write another book? Well that was me with Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale. Unfortunately, she made us wait 7 years before publishing another book. Fortunately, that wait is over. Bellman & Black is sitting on my desk, staring me in the face, waiting until I finish the last 50 pages of a YA novel. It will be done tomorrow! Then on to Bellman & Black. I can’t wait. At a scant 325 pages, it will be finished early next week and I’ll let you know the result. Anticipation…one of the great parts of reading a book!
Thanks, Susan, for introducing me to The Thirteenth Tale. (She always picks out great books.)
Posted in Belman & Black, Diane Setterfield, Ed, Macabre, The Thirteenth Tale | 1 Comment »