Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Donald Hamilton, R.I.P.

I suppose it’s only fitting that I learned about the death of novelist Donald Hamilton at the Mystery*File blog. It was two articles that appeared in the magazine that convinced me to give his Matt Helm books a try. I still haven’t read The Wrecking Crew, but it’s close at hand and I’ll be diving into it soon enough. I worship Dean Martin, but the Helm movies are a caricature of what Hamilton accomplished on the page.

Some of my usual web haunts do a far better job of remembering the man. Steve Lewis looks back at The Ambushers and hints at the possibility of one last go-round for Helm. Plus more from Bill Crider and The Rap Sheet.

Upcoming: Art House Freak Outs!

I noted in my previous post that Alejandro Jodorowsky’s hallucinogenic western El Topo was almost impossible to see. Looks like I spoke too soon, because it’s scheduled for release on DVD next month. I assume a direct dial number to the closest mental health facility is among the bonus features.

WR: Mysteries of the Organism, the damnedest movie I’ve ever seen and the highlight of my “The Body In Film” class, will be getting the full Criterion treatment. I’m going to have to revisit this one.

Movie: The Lookout (2007)

Scott Frank gets my vote for America’s best contemporary screenwriter. Turns out he’s a fine director as well. Some guys have all the luck. The Lookout is a smart, taut, lived-in thriller. With roles in this film, Brick and the much-delayed Elmore Leonard adaptation Killshot, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is becoming this generation’s noir icon. Greencine has an interview with actor and director, as well as co-star Matthew Goode.