Sunday, October 11, 2009

naming the baby

The term film noir (French for "black film"), was first applied to Hollywood movies by French critic Nino Frank in 1946. i always wondered about that. well, it figures. so many great writers, crime and otherwise, found publishers for their books in paris. the greatest film noir movies tend to take their beginnings from a novel. 'mildred pierce', and 'the postman always rings twice' are two good ones. my fave film of the genre, 'out of the past' came from a book called 'build my gallows high' which i was so delighted to find recently. it was so bad i threw it across the room after a few pages, which proves screenwriters are geniuses.
no problem, the bookshops will always carry knockout stories that paint the world in black and white. from jim thompson to david goodis, the noir world seems to have popped from the belly of great literature, no matter that it was termed 'pulp.'

photo: crummy title of a not too good book that was made into a film noir masterpiece.

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