Thursday, January 25, 2007

Movies: Noir City 5

Great article on Eddie Muller and the fifth Noir City Film Festival, kicking off tomorrow in San Francisco. I vow to get to it one of these years.

The line-up includes salutes to tough guy Charles McGraw and screenwriter William Bowers, a man equally at home on the mean streets and the open range. Just the other day I watched his terrific underrated western The Sheepman, with Glenn Ford.

The Bowers tribute includes a screening of 1951’s Cry Danger, which stars Dick Powell and Rhonda Fleming. The film also features a fantastic unheralded turn by character actor Richard Erdman. Erdman plays a one-legged ex-Marine marinating in booze and jovial cynicism. (“Occasionally, I always drink too much.”) He perfectly captures the post-war feeling of disaffection from society that would lead to biker gangs, beatniks, and ultimately the entire counterculture. Fifty-some years later, his performance still feels jarringly new.

Now 81 years old, Erdman will be in attendance at Saturday’s screening doing a Q&A. What I wouldn’t give to be there.

Miscellaneous: Links

From Reason: the politics of zombies. And reaction, mostly negative, to a list of the ten best business novels.