Sunday, September 23, 2012

Extra, Extra!: Noir City

First, some housekeeping. No, this has not become a cocktail-only blog. It just seems that way. I’ve wanted to post, honest and for true. But work commitments have kept me busy. This plethora of projects has alas forced me to skip this year’s Bouchercon in Cleveland.

At least some of that work is now available for your delectation. The latest issue of Noir City, the e-magazine of the Film Noir Foundation, went out to subscribers over the weekend and it’s a dazzler. Featuring gorgeous design work by Michael Kronenberg and fully optimized for the iPad, it’s got more rich content than ever. Included in this edition are Eddie Muller’s interview with Hurricane Billy himself, William Friedkin, whose latest film Killer Joe is a hell-bent hoot and a half. Imogen Sara Smith’s cover story on noir’s glorious golden bad girl Jan Sterling. A pair of pieces by my comrade in arms Jake Hinkson on pregnancy and children in film noir. Plus lots more.

As for me, I’ve got two-part salute to noir in miniature. I interview artist and photographer Jonah Samson, who recreates the landscape of film noir in gorgeously detailed dioramas. And I talk to documentarian Susan Marks about her film Of Dolls & Murder, which profiles forensic science pioneer Frances Glessner Lee and her singular Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, gruesome dollhouse-sized crime scenes that have been used to train detectives for decades. Susan’s film is available on Netflix Instant and iTunes, and is well worth watching. Plus Lee’s work will serve as the inspiration for a new HBO series from huge talents Guillermo del Toro and Sara Gran, so read my article to get up to speed.

Most exciting is the debut of my crime fiction and cocktail column, Keenan’s Korner. It’s named in tribute to Kiner’s Korner, which for many years was the New York Mets’ post-game show. Meaning that I have managed to combine baseball, cocktails and crime fiction in a single enterprise, thereby making this column my life’s work. In this opening installment I review a trio of books from Hard Case Crime including, appropriately enough, The Cocktail Waitress, the newly-discovered lost novel by hardboiled master James M. Cain.

Head over to the Film Noir Foundation, make a donation to support the restoration of classic film noir, and the issue is yours. In it, Eddie details the next three films the FNF will have an active hand in salvaging and screening across the country in the coming year. Go ahead. You know you want to.

More posts are coming, I promise. In the meantime, go see The Master, in 70mm if you can. It’s as good as advertised.