Three Poems From Stephen J. Golds

The way the blood feels on my fingers I forget how long It’s been sometimes, Darling.   The last time I saw you you fled into an empty night screaming at me you were going to throw yourself from the top of an apartment building. We had both laughed but our laughs were different then,…

Overlooked Noir: Crack-Up (1946) by K. A. Laity

No surprise that this one would appeal to me: Noir ambience? Check. Art and art forgery plot? Check. Mind manipulation? Check! Yeah, art and a sort of Hannibal connection, well – I’m sold. Never mind that Crack-Up stars Pat O’Brien, an unlikely everyman as its hero. It’s got Claire Trevor though, with a wild swathe…

Noir Classics: Those Who Walk Away – Patricia Highsmith by K. A. Laity

Don’t let the pull quote form Slavoj Zizek put you off. This too-little read classic by Highsmith is a cracking read. It’s suffused with an existential dread so thick you could cut it with a Derwatt paint knife. It starts in Rome and quickly moves to Venice, currently repopulated with swans and dolphins, which is…

Kiss Like a Fist by Graham Wynd

She had a mouth that could raise the dead. It had raised me plenty over the years, but I’d never been close enough to Rosaline’s orbit to do anything about it. Until tonight. I brought her a third martini and her tongue had loosened enough to share some sage advice with me as she leaned…

Hammett by K. A. Laity

Oh a whim (sorry) I decided I really needed to finally see Wim Wenders’ Hammett, which might also be Francis Ford Coppola’s Hammett. Or not. In any case, it’s not the film Wenders envisioned. In the 70s war-fatigue fueled the neo-noir revival that gave us films like Chinatown, Farewell My Lovely, and Altman’s The Long…

Noir Classics: Vera Caspery’s Bedelia (1946) by K. A. Laity

Having finally caught the film I knew I had to get around to the novel. A key change: the novel is set during 1913, when the writer herself had been in high school. Caspary must have decided the past was a better setting; there’s the practical matter of being truly snowbound in the last part…

Neglected Noir: Bedelia (1946) by K A Laity

I finally got around to watching this because I am still (again, always) obsessing about Hannibal and the presentation I’ll be giving on it in April. What’s the connection? Show runner Bryan Fuller named a new character after her, Bedelia du Maurier (obviously the Rebecca author for the other half of her name). The novel…

Gresham and the King of the Spook Workers by K. A. Laity

With the swirl of anticipation beginning to rise around Guillermo del Toro’s remake of Nightmare Alley, it’s a good time to look back at a tantalisingly incomplete project of William Lindsay Gresham. ‘King of the Spook Workers’ is collected in the 2013 volume Grindshow from Centipede Press, which also offers a balanced overview of the…

If I Could Be With You Tonight by Graham Wynd

The scene was perfect. Hollywood could not do it justice. A quiet house at the end of the lane. Two young people on their own. The baby they were sitting had been tucked in long ago, sleeping in chubby-fisted peace. And the scary movie – somewhat snowy despite all attempts to adjust the antenna –…

Noir Classics: No Way Out by K A Laity

Like a fool, I’m always tinkering with the list of films I teach in the Film Noir course — making it doubly harder this term because I decided to do Neo-Noir too. I decided to include NO WAY OUT because it still packs a hefty punch, especially for a film from 1950. If you look…