Friday, October 17, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
The story had it that once, early in Faulkner’s Hollywood career, he sat in his office for several weeks doing nothing (sometimes he played dominos, sometimes he played chess). And there came a day when the producer, tired of waiting for “pages,” came to his office in person (which was really a breach of Hollywood protocol) and wanted to know how he was getting on.
Faulkner, who had not written a single line, reached for an old screenplay he had found in his desk and said, “Ah’m not satisfied with it.” Then he slowly tore it up, page by page, and dropped it into the wastebasket.
The producer reported back to his own boss, “That fellow Faulkner’s great! Tore up a whole screenplay because it didn’t satisfy him. Conscientious. I wish we had more writers like him. See that he’s not disturbed.”
From Alvah Bessie’s 1965 memoir Inquisition in Eden
Thursday, October 02, 2014
I say this every time a new issue of the Film Noir Foundation’s magazine hits in-boxes around the globe. So I’ll quote FNF jefe Eddie Muller: this latest edition of Noir City is “the best written film journal in the world – certainly the most entertaining.”
Want proof? I thought my word was good enough for you. I thought we were friends.
Fine. Here’s proof. Inside the Fall 2014 issue:
- Your friend and mine Christa Faust sizes up noir vixens of recent vintage
- Michael Connelly names his five favorite noir films
- Wallace Stroby on the real life origins of the neo-noir classic Thief
- Profiles of Mike Mazurki and William Castle
- Muller mulls the question of the definitive heist film: The Asphalt Jungle or Rififi?
I’m particularly proud of the sidebar to that piece which I helped assemble, in which we ask a rogues gallery of crime writers to single out their favorite cinematic caper. Faust and Stroby chime in, along with the likes of Duane Swierczynski, Laura Lippman, Ken Bruen, Roger Hobbs and Ray Banks.
Plus plenty more. I contribute a few film reviews and my usual Cocktails & Crime column … and eagle-eyed readers may spot breaking news about what I’ve been up to lately.
Don’t have a copy? Never fear. Simply make a contribution to the Film Noir Foundation and ninety-four pages of majesty will be winging their way toward you. Don’t miss out.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
From Joseph Cotten's 1987 autobiography Vanity Will Get You Somewhere:
The following day Orson and I had a date for lunch with two gentlemen (not from Verona, I fear). They were two tough and exceedingly wealthy businessmen. The reason for our meeting was simple; Orson needed money for his next film and he intended to acquire some of theirs.
Late that afternoon, we spotted Churchill swimming in the Lido. In a flash, Orson had his swimming trunks on and was in the water beside him. He was talking, but thank heavens I couldn’t hear what he was saying. Apparently neither could Churchill, for he just turned and swam in the other direction.
Later I asked Orson, “What did you dare say to him this time?”
“I apologized for being fresh,” he said, “but I told him I just wanted to impress two gentlemen whose money I needed for a film.”
Rather unnecessarily I asked, “Did he reply?”
“No,” said Orson.
That evening, we walked into the dining room, our two prospective backers following gloomily. As we reached Churchill’s table, he stood up, looked directly at Orson, and bowed slowly and deeply.
We got the money.