One of the benefits of being on the masthead of Noir City, the magazine of the non-profit Film Noir Foundation, is pitching in on the planning. I’ve known about the all-TV issue, which went out to subscribers last weekend, for ages, and had my pick of subject matter. I could have cherry-picked a vintage series that provided a small screen home for the migrating talent responsible for the twisted cinematic crime dramas of the 1950s. Or I could have claimed the contemporary cable antihero of my choice. It’s good to be the king, or in this case the managing editor.
Joseph Dougherty wrote both films, and proved a funny and candid interview. An acclaimed playwright and TV hyphenate, he’s spent the past seven years working on Pretty Little Liars, which he describes as “mini-Hitchcock movies for teens.” Dougherty wrote and directed “Shadow Play,” a film noir-inspired episode that became a fan favorite. We did a second interview about that show, complete with the welcome news that PLL has introduced a new generation to classic cinema as well as Dougherty’s brilliant advice for penning dialogue for teenage girls: “think of them as a bomber crew in a Howard Hawks movie.”
I’ve also got my usual Cocktails & Crime column, plus reviews of a new Douglas Sirk/George Sanders Blu-ray set and Edward Sorel’s offbeat book Mary Astor’s Purple Diary, covered in the New York Times by some wet-behind-the-ears stringer named Woody Allen.
But I’m not the only person in this issue. You also get—
- A double dose of FNF honcho Eddie Muller, interviewing Warner Bros. Home Entertainment George Feltenstein and holding forth on the small screen-spawned Mulholland Dr.
- Cartoonist/illustrator Daniel Clowes’ one-of-a-kind list of his five favorite noir films
- Imogen Smith on the definitive noir TV show, The Fugitive
- Jazz aficionado supreme Brian Light’s appraisal of the offbeat Johnny Staccato
- Alan K. Rode charting the noir roots of Perry Mason
- Steve Kronenberg’s assessment of the noir episodes of The Twilight Zone and Thriller
- Danilo Castro’s remembrance of Fallen Angels, the ‘90s cable series that brought pulp to primetime
- Sharon Knolle on the recent bumper crop of noir on cable, including Quarry and Animal Kingdom
- Ben Terrall’s very personal history of the pulp origins of Shane Black’s The Nice Guys
And, believe it or not, even more. It’s a true gem of an issue, and it’s yours by making a contribution to the Film Noir Foundation.