Sat, 27 December 2008
Clute and Edwards welcome guest investigator Megan Abbott , the reigning Dark Dame of Noir. Megan is the author of a superb nonfiction study of hardboiled and noir protagonists entitled THE STREET WAS MINE, and three gut-wrenching throwback crime novels: DIE A LITTLE, THE SONG IS YOU, and QUEENPIN. The first title is scheduled to be released as a United Artists feature film in 2010, with Jessica Biel in the lead role. Megan's choice for this episode is the 1950 Nicholas Ray film IN A LONELY PLACE, starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. To learn more about Megan's work, visit www.meganabbott.com. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards, of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir at http://outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Tue, 12 August 2008
Howard Rodman and Mike White are this episode’s guest investigators. Rodman and White discuss Jean-Pierre Melville’s great 1956 film, Bob Le Flambeur. Howard Rodman is a screenwriter, novelist and USC film professor. His most recent screen credits include Savage Grace and August. Mike White is the publisher and editors of Cahiers du Cinemart, an obscure and obtuse film magazine from Detroit. Visit Mike’s website at impossiblefunky.com. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards, of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir at http://outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Wed, 18 June 2008
Thanks to listener support, Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noiris a featured podcast at iTunes, has generated nearly 200,000 downloads worldwide, and has a per-episode audience of over 4,000. With such a record of success, Clute and Edwards are now able to reach out to a wide range of noir scholars, to use the program as a forum to broaden public discourse on the enduring importance of this distinctively American film style. May's guest is the Czar of Noir, Eddie Muller. Eddie is the Founder and President of the Film Noir Foundation, and the man who organizes the Noir City Film Festival in San Francisco. He is also the author of three superlative studies of film noir (Dark City, Dark City Dames, and The Art of Noir) and two supernal throwback hard-boiled novels (The Distance and Shadow Boxer). Eddie's selection is the 1949 Jules Dassin Film THIEVES' HIGHWAY.
Tue, 11 March 2008
FORCE OF EVIL shows us that small-time graft is less dangerous than big-time rackets that have the law, the trust of the public, and the appearance of respectability on their side. Ultimately, the crime is the system itself, and the very philosophical underpinnings of capitalism are liable. And while Abraham Polonsky's courage in addressing these themes is remarkable, the degree of craft he exhibits as a rookie director is nothing short of astonishing. With Ira Wolfert, he co-authors a script so rich in its ability to expose the poverty of our dreams, and so stylized and impossibly catchy in its dialogue, that it can't help but feel more real than the real. With this script, and uncommon directing talent, Polonsky coaxes career-best performance from John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, and Marie Windsor. And with Director of Photography George Barnes, Polonsky frames some of the most beautiful and narratively rich shots in film history. FORCE OF EVIL may be the noir that most perfectly captures the ambivalent and fearful relationship Americans had to the great cities and great institutions that were the sclerotic backbone of the country after WWII. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards, of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at http://outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Tue, 5 February 2008
Rian Johnson's superlative 2005 debut film BRICK is neither a nostalgic tribute nor a modern reaction to noir style. But due to the conditions surrounding its production, it has more in common with classic noir than most films that play overtly with noir tradition: stiletto-tongued hard-boiled dialogue, razor-sharp editing, on-location shooting, the creative use of ambient sound, and narratively-rich canted angle shots and high-contrast lighting allow BRICK to overcome the pitfalls of a small budget and limited crew–just as these same techniques allowed classic films such as DETOUR or THE HITCH-HIKER to do. In fact, financial constraints lend BRICK an artistic coherency it might otherwise lack, for Johnson was forced to write, direct, and edit the entire picture, and to use family to finance and score it. The resulting work is as disarmingly familiar as classic noir and as surprisingly fresh and inventive as its creator, who clearly understands how to borrow from the past where appropriate and innovate whenever possible. Like the work of all great artists, BRICK demonstrates that aesthetic leaps forward find their surest footing in the past.This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards, of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Thu, 3 January 2008
THEY LIVE BY NIGHT is film noir at its best. Edward Anderson's little-known hard-boiled rural bandit novel is made into a screenplay as lean as the post-war dreams of its players. The shifty camera frames every sucker that comes its way, making them false promises then plunging each into a darkness more than night. Rookie director Nicholas Ray mercilessly rolls rising stars Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell in the existential muck, but manages nonetheless to show us the ethereal gold that lines their hearts and dreams. Beyond the sublime writing, acting, and directing, what truly sets the film apart is its ruthless humanity, its unwavering determination to show the full spectrum of good and bad in everyone—the shades of gray that haunt the war-battered world of black and white. It is as poignant now as it was upon its release sixty years ago. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards, of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.