Friday, April 20, 2007

Miscellaneous: Links As Dark As They Come

L.A.’s noir fest continues, and I continue not to be there for it. The L.A. Times looks at the festival’s bicoastal theme. Eddie Muller makes a key distinction, saying of the New York films:

“the characters want to escape the big city, the teeming metropolis. In L.A., you get to the Promised Land and you realize there’s no escape.”

GreenCine features a terrific multi-part video from January’s Noir City festival in San Francisco with Muller interviewing actress Marsha Hunt, star of Kid Glove Killer and Raw Deal.

The Rap Sheet recently conducted a poll to determine TV’s best cops and gumshoes. The results are in. Yours truly split his ticket, voting for Joe Friday and Jim Rockford.

DVD: Le Petit Lieutenant (U.S. 2006)

Last year I went to New York just as this award-winning French film ended its run there. Naturally, that’s when it played briefly in Seattle. I had to wait for its DVD release to catch up with it.

Lieutenant is the kind of police procedural that has been largely ceded to television. At times it plays like a cinema vérité hybrid of The Wire and Prime Suspect, as a rookie Paris detective adjusts to his duties with help from an alcoholic female superior returning to command. The movie takes its sweet time getting started; half an hour in, I confess to feeling a bit bored. But the plot takes hold once the rookie begins investigating the murder of a homeless man, leading to an ending that long-form TV couldn’t pull off. It’s a slow building film, but one worth watching.

The movie reminded me of Bertrand Tavernier’s L.627. The epic black comedy following a Paris drug squad is the M*A*S*H of cop movies, and as far as I know it’s unavailable on DVD. Who do I talk to about that?