Tuesday 31 January 2012

Darkness on the Edge of Town

             Some folks are born into a good life
             Other folks get it anyway, anyhow
             I lost my money and i lost my wife
             Them things don't seem to matter much to me now
             Tonight i'll be on that hill cause i can't stop
             I'll be on that hill with everything i got
             Lives on the line where dreams are found and lost
             I'll be there on time and i'll pay the cost
             For wanting things that can only be found
             In the darkness on the edge of town

Darkness on the Edge of Town
Bruce Springsteen

Sunday 29 January 2012


        Much later as he sat with his back against an inside wall of a Motel 6 just north of Phoenix, watching the pool of blood lap toward him, Driver would wonder whether he had made a terrible mistake. Later still of course there'd be no doubt. But for now as they say Driver is in the moment. And the moment includes this blood lapping toward him. The pressure of dawn's late light at windows and door, traffic sounds from the interstate nearby, the sound of someone weeping in the next room.

James Sallis

Saturday 28 January 2012


Kafka- Soderbergh

                          Was one critic right in likening Noir to a cul-de-sac of the soul.

                                                   Naked Lunch-Cronenberg

                                                      The Trial- Welles

                                          Stranger on the Third Floor- Ingster

Monday 23 January 2012

Don't Smoke in Bed

                                I left a note on his dresser
                                My old wedding ring
                                With these few goodbye words
                                How can i sing
                                Goodbye old sleepy head
                                I'm packing you in like i said

                                Take care of everything
                                I'm leaving my wedding ring
                                Don't look for me
                                I'll get ahead
                                Remember darling
                                Don't smoke in bed

Don't Smoke in Bed
(Willard Robison)
Peggy Lee

Sunday 22 January 2012

Noir Filmgrimage

Lady from Shanghai

One of best pieces i've read recently for the Noir tourist is Nick James' Falling from Nob Hill on the BFI's webpage about Noirs set in San Francisco.


Friday 20 January 2012


       This masterpiece of  Heist Noir directed by American Jules Dassin in 1955 when in blacklist exile is one of the all-time best French language Noirs even when comparing it to JP Melville's various greats. Shot on the rain soaked streets of Paris with the lead role that of an ageing criminal recently released from prison. His is one of the most powerful Noir performances and Jean Servais' journey toward doom, fuelled perhaps by his off-screen alcohol problems, is all too often overlooked.

Thursday 19 January 2012

A Clean Well Lighted Place

          It was very late and everyone had left the cafe except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against an electric light. In the daytime the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference.

A Clean Well Lighted Place
Ernest Hemingway
Winner take Nothing

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Leaving Las Vegas

          Along with Lost Weekend probably one of the best Noir portraits of the reasons why it's best to avoid the demon drink. Directed by Mike Figgis in 1995 it's a neon soaked tragic love story of screenwriter Cage, who has moved from L.A to Vegas to allow himself  24hr access to booze, and lonely streetwalker Elizabeth Shue. The novel on which it's based by John O'Brien is even better and was described by his father as a long suicide note. O'Brien died shortly after completing it from the effects of the bottle.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Highways and Hotels

He talked for an hour and twenty-five minutes- from two fifty to four fifteen- and told while Nye attempted to list them of highways and hotels, motels, rivers, towns and cities. A chorus of entwining names: Apache, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Santillo, San Luis Potosi, Acapulco, San Diego , Dallas, Omaha, Sweetwater, Stillwater, Tenville Junction, Tallahasee, Needles, Miami, Hotel Nuevo Waldorf, Somerset Hotel, Hotel Simone, Arrowhead Motel, Cherokee Motel and many many more. He gave them the name of the man in Mexico to whom he'd sold his own 1940 Chevrolet and confessed that he had stolen a newer model in Iowa.

In Cold Blood
Truman Capote

Sunday 15 January 2012

Learned About Somewhere

It was winter in Manhattan, falling snowflakes filled the air
The streets were covered with a film of ice
But a little simple magic that i learned about somewhere
Changed the weather all around, just within a thrice
I bought you violets for your furs, and it was Spring for awhile, remember ?

Violets for Your Furs
Sinatra/ Billie Holliday

Friday 13 January 2012

Just Another Love Story

This Danish Noir from 2007 has a ferocious energy coupled with an almost absurd series of plot twists that would appeal to the Coens.

Thursday 12 January 2012

Lateshift at the Diner

In a graveyard charade, a lateshift masquerade
And it's two for a Quarter, Dime for a dance
With Woolworth Rhinestone diamond earrings
And a sideways glance and now the register rings

Eggs and Sausage
Nighthawks at the Diner
Tom Waits

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Bukowski's Basement Blog

      One of the best blogs i've stumbled on recently is Anthony Venutolo's 'Bukowski's Basement'. There is a superb mix of Americana/ Pulp/Noir/ Dirty realist stuff made up of images, flash fiction and music.


Tuesday 10 January 2012

Devil in a Blue Dress

           She had light hair coming down over her bare shoulders and high cheekbones and eyes that might have been blue if the artist got it right. After staring at her for a full minute i decided that she might be worth looking for if you could get her to smile at you that way.

Devil in a Blue Dress
Walter Mosley
Simone Signoret

Monday 9 January 2012

Friends of Eddie Coyle

      There are a few such as Elmore Leonard who think George V. Higgins' 1970 first is the best crime novel ever written and there's not much to disagree on. The book's better than the movie and the 1973 screen version is excellent.