Sunday, February 13, 2011

For the Love of Film (Noir): Let the Links Begin

On Wednesday, the New York Times editorial page recognizes our efforts on behalf of The Film Noir Foundation. Note the construction--"a number of film bloggers." That's everyone here. Eddie, and the Siren, and Marilyn, and Greg, applaud you all.

And since the Times was good enough to mention Greg's flat-out gorgeous Maltese Falcon donation button, the Siren is moving it right up here. And she hopes many more people use it. Onward!



And thick and and fast they came at last, and more, and more, and more…

Scroll down for the links to the participants in the For the Love of Film (Noir) Blogathon.



It was at the French cinema, under summer light, that the expression "film noir" came to be. In July 1946, the lottery of "les années eblouissantes" introduced, simultaneously and out of order, several American movies released at different times: Laura (1944), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Murder, My Sweet (1944), Double Indemnity (1943) and The Woman in the Window (1944). These movies all told a story of crime, but did so in a new, dark and harsh way. And more importantly, there was neither sentimentality nor morality. The influence of certain 1930s novelists, Dashiell Hammett, James Cain and Raymond Chandler, was plain. Nino Frank, who charmed us with his Latin accent, the extent of his culture and his lightheartedness, told us when he published his article in August 1946: "Now, that's film noir."

(translation via kindness of the Siren's in-house service)

In their book Les Années Eblouissantes (The Dazzling Years), film director Jean-Charles Tacchella and journalist Roger Therond described their filmgoing in the years immediately following the Occupation. All the American movies they had missed during the years of the war began to flood Paris, and they were, as they say, dazzled. Naturally their book contains a large section on film noir, and their delight and fascination with it. It's hard even to imagine the impact--years of cinematic famine followed by this feast, trends and themes and techniques snapping into focus for Tacchella and Therond as they sat through film after film.

The Siren has always happily described herself as an evangelist--but only for our great film heritage. And with movies, she's always been able to summon an optimism she doesn't really have for most other things. Maybe nothing could be quite like seeing those five movies in a Paris cinema, in 1946, in the space of less than a month. But even in 2011, discovering a great film noir, and then another, and another, and another, must rank with the biggest thrills of a cinephile's life.

This week's blogathon, as Eddie Muller spells out in his interview below, gives us a chance to make sure that experience can continue for those who come after us. Of all the passionate things he has to say, this leaped out at the Siren:

It’s also important to understand that restoring a film isn’t merely about posterity. It can give a film new life, and in some cases led to a reassessment of an artist’s work, and a very valuable sense of cultural completion. I think of some of these missing titles as “ghost films,” and when we restore them we are actually bringing them back to life.

"There's no such thing as an old movie," Lauren Bacall once told Robert Osborne. "If you haven't seen it, it's new." Miss Bacall--who could tell us all a few things about film noir--is a wise woman. There's a lot that has been lost, but a lot still waiting to be returned to its former glory--The Sound of Fury is one.

That's why the Siren is firing up her credit card today to make her own donation. So is her esteemed blogathon partner Marilyn Ferdinand, whose own post and links collection (complete with a photo of us in a car--no really, that's us, we were going to the mall) can be found here. We hope you donate as well.

And so do the writers who are contributing their intelligence, their time and their energy to this week's blogathon.

Please join us in donating to the Film Noir Foundation.

For those participating, should you want a spiffy donation button like the one above, and really, why wouldn't you, slink over to Greg Ferrara's place and download one.



Let the linking begin, and bless you all!

Thursday, February 17

It is no secret to anyone who his blog The New York Post that critic Lou Lumenick is a serious old-movie hound, one who can play “stump the Siren” and usually win. Here he is with Street of Chance, a B-noir from Paramount that’s “in serious need of TLC.”

“I admire his loyalty in working with [Cy] Endfield again — he must have known that his previous work for the director was his very best”: David Cairns on The Limping Man, the film Lloyd Bridges and Cy Enfield made after The Sound of Fury.

Glenn Kenny has a brilliant post up about the noir side of uber-nerd Tommy Noonan, and how Richard Fleischer’s brilliant Cinemascope, Technicolor Violent Saturday let him “wed nerdy to dirty.”

Kim Morgan at MSN’s The Hit List has another dose of Barbara Stanwyck for us all to savor: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, a deep personal favorite of the Siren's.

Korea’s Kim Ji-woon “is something of a visual virtuoso,” says Peter Nelhaus, in discussing Kim's noir, A Bittersweet Life, which certainly looks gorgeous in the screen grabs.

Dennis Cozzalio, so dear to the Siren’s heart, has a highly entertaining post with pictures of movie marquees and newspaper ads, at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule.

Hilary Barta summarizes one of the Siren’s favorite noirs, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, in five lines at Limerwrecks.

Wit, raconteur, bard of the underrated Burt Reynolds and proud Floridian Larry Aydlette shows us the real-life Florida locations for Body Heat.

At AV Preserve, Joshua Ranger contemplates noir as the omnivore’s dilemma.

"Is the Psychological Western just film noir on horseback?" asks Toby Roan of the fine film blog 50 Westerns from the 50s.

Bright Lights After Dark is one of the best film blogs around, and today C. Jerry Kutner makes a case for Mervyn Le Roy's Two Seconds as the first film noir. To what year would that date the birth of noir? 1932.

Ed Howard points out that the asphalt-tough Born to Kill contains a classic women's picture choice in men: safe and dreary, or dangerous and exciting? The noir element comes when you make Mr. Dangerous an actual psychopath...

"RHUMBAS! ROMANCE! RACKETS! A PRC Mystery With Music," was the tagline for Edgar Ulmer's Club Havana, and Doug Bonner goes in-depth at Boiling Sand.

Thinking of noir at Javabean Rush, and most of all thinking of--guess what?

Wonders in the Dark lists the Top 10 Characteristics of Noir, complete with luscious vintage posters.

“He’s a wonderful pure pathological study. A psychopath with no inhibitions": At Edward Copeland on Film, J.D. looks at Don Siegel's tidy procedural, The Line-Up.

At the U.S. Intellectual History blog, Tim Lacy examines Touch of Evil for what it says about America in the 1950s, and says our blogathon may lead to noir making an unscheduled appearance in his classroom...

Trish, a familiar name in the Siren's comments section, has a shiny new blog, a shiny new post, on Tension, and the pertinent question: "Even in the best film noir, isn't there always a moment when you ask yourself 'what the hell is going on?'"

Noir on Blu-Ray: Sean Axmaker of MSN Videodrone continues his tireless efforts for the blogathon with an article about the new release of Kansas City Confidential.

At The M0vie Blog, Darren Mooney is back with the most neo of all neonoirs, Blade Runner, as well as Dark City (The Director’s Cut)--AND a philosophical post, "Why Sci-Fi is Better Hardboiled."

Vince Keenan has another dispatch from Noir City Northwest, including a film the Siren adores, Jean Renoir's The Woman on the Beach.

Do you love Lee Remick as the Siren does? Click on Bill Wren at Piddleville. You'll thank me, gentlemen.

More roots of noir at Hollywood Revue: Asphalt--from 1929. Top that, C. Jerry.

If it has a happy ending, is it still noir? Sure, says Pamela L. Kerpuis at Scarlett Cinema, and here's two films to prove it.

And if it's animated, is it still noir? You betcha, says David Robson at House of Sparrows.

Another essay from the Parallax View's archives: Richard T. Jameson on Marilyn Ferdinand's favorite noir, Gun Crazy.

Rob at Starts Thursday is back with a great colored slide for The Woman in the Window.

"The end of noir as we know it": At TribecaFilm.com, Peter Gutierrez takes a look at Taxi Driver, which turns 35 years old this month.

In today's episode, Lee Price asks whether mom June is The Seventh Victim--and talks about the value of film preservation at Preserving the Family Collection.

And Donna of Strictly Vintage Hollywood gives us some ravishing costars and ravishing posters.

Finally, what's neo-noir got that classic noir doesn't? Nothing, the Siren was about to snap--until Dan Callahan, who loves old movies like she does, came along to remind her. Oh, that.

Wednesday, February 16

The mighty James Wolcott, ardent supporter of last year's blogathon and a longtime friend to this blog, talks about the beautiful noir forerunner City Streets, and lends his sonorous voice (and a donation, too) to the blogathon. Thanks, Mr. Wolcott.

Kim Morgan's shimmering Nightfall essay, part of her fabulously generous daily efforts on behalf of this blogathon and the genre she writes about so well, has been cross-posted at the Huffington Post. And her Barbara Stanwyck marathon at her MSN Hit List blog, which the Siren has been rushing to every day like it's Christmas morning, continues with a post about a film starring Babs, "the great, underrated Barry Sullivan" AND "ohhhh…Ralph Meeker!"

Is it not enough to read about film noir? Are you yearning to truly step into one, as long as you don't have to take the rap? At his Scanners blog, Jim Emerson of the Sun-Times invites you into The Dark Room. Sui generis, and amazing fun.

Poor Ralph Bellamy, did he ever get the girl? Well, he got the noir at least once, as well as a "spectacular line in dollarbook Freud." David Cairns, ladies and gentlemen.

The roots of film noir? Two words, one name: Dashiell Hammett. From Joe Thompson, of The Pneumatic Rolling Sphere Carrier Delusion.

Because sleuthing is too a feminine art: Film programmer extraordinaire Miriam Bale looks at Lady Sleuths, and Manhattan as a Mystery, at her blog The Nibbler: Tidbits and Tangents.

Down Argentine way (or with Argentine curators, anyway), via Michael Guillen at The Evening Class, more adventures in film preservation with our fearless leader Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation--and Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

"I firmly believe in noir as a genre, despite what Paul Schrader might think": Michael Phllips, aka Goatdog, aka blogger the Siren has loved for yonks, throws down the gauntlet and tackles the noir-or-not-noir question via a look at Tomorrow Is Another Day.

Paul Etcheverry of Way Too Damn Lazy to Write a Blog has a clip-laden post that includes some ravishing Duke Ellington.

"The 1943 film The Seventh Victim saw producer Val Lewton take the psychological horror that he had pioneered in the classic Cat People, and add a noirish feel": Rob Wickings of Excuses and Half Truths argues for the great producer/auteur's place in the noir pantheon.

Lee Price's parents, June and Art, wonder if someone has got The Wrong Man. And a meditation on film noir, German Expressionism, and lost films, at Preserving a Family Collection.

Toward "a common style construction of the femme fatale," using two of the greatest of all, from Meredith at Or Maybe Eisenstein Should Just Relax.

At Drew's place, The Blue Vial, an in-depth look at The Big Clock. The first set of screencaps alone make this one worth the click.

"It is obvious that he wanted his American debut to be a film that meant something": Ed Howard is back with a look at Fritz Lang's Fury.


Edward Copeland didn't love The Woman in the Window like the Siren did, but he's back today with another Fritz he does love: Scarlet Street. And he adds Jean Renoir’s La Chienne, the film that Scarlet Street remade—complete with a chart so you can keep track of the characters across movies.

An old comrade from last year's blogathon, Marc Heuck of The Projector Has Been Drinking, points out that film noir's influence extends to all sorts of places we may not have thought about--such as, for example, music videos.

"A genuinely evolved noir film": Roderick Heath, Marilyn’s estimable partner at Ferdy on Films, on Michael Mann’s Miami Vice.

Ariel Schudson at Sinamatic Salve-ation is back to discuss Electra Glide in Blue, “a film about fetishes and fetishizing.” And, for added kink, Robert Blake.

“He was hardboiled reading the newspaper,” remarked a Siren commenter once about Charles McGraw, and that made him a noir icon. John Greco eyeballs the actor, from a safe distance, at Twenty Four Frames in a post about Roadblock.

More vintage newspaper ads from WB Kelso of Scenes from the Morgue: Retro-Pulp Movie Ads, this time on Anthony Mann’s Raw Deal. The incongruous lower part of the bill cracks the Siren up.

At The M0vie Blog, Darren Mooney writes up Black Swan, which the Siren will allow has at least as much to do with noir as it does with ballerinas, and what Marilyn calls “the original and inventive Brick.”

Cornell Woolrich "is one of those writers...who never seems to show up at used bookstores. People don't part with his books." And for good reason. Christianne Benedict at Krell Laboratories on a Woolrich film adaptation, No Man of Her Own.

Another Limerwreck from Hilary Barta, this one on Phantom Lady. The Siren is gobbling these like potato chips.

At These Amazing Shadows, Kurt Norton tells of his personal connection to one of the greatest of all noirs, Out of the Past.

Bill Ryan of The Kind of Face You Hate links two movies, City of Fear and Panic in the Streets, as “plague noir”—men carrying literal death with them. Can’t get more noir than that.

When Arthur Penn died recently, film bloggers mentioned one movie again and again as a favorite: Night Moves. Susan Doll of Facets Features examines the late director's unique approach to neonoir.

Kevin Olson of Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies finds a little optimism—and an eye-popping collection of beautiful stills—in Force of Evil. How the Siren does love John Garfield…

“Detour: Closing Down the Open Road”: an article by David Coursen on Edgar Ulmer’s masterpiece, posted on Parallax View.

Sean Axmaker looks at how Anthony Mann gave us The Black Book and The Tall Target, working “with impoverished budgets but an extraordinary cinematographer, John Alton.” On MSN Movies Videodrone.

The Coen Brothers’ extraordinary debut, Blood Simple, gets a loving look from Jacqueline Fitzgerald at the Film Noir Blonde.

"A field day for de Havilland": More from Vince Keenan at Noir City Northwest, on The Dark Mirror and Crack-up.



Tuesday, February 15

The one and only Leonard Maltin has issued a preservation call to arms and name-checked our blogathon at his site, for which we are most grateful. So has Jim Emerson, that gentleman and scholar, at his very fine Scanners blog at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Because what every blogathon needs is a chicks-in-jail movie: David Cairns unlocks day two with Women's Prison, which boasts Ida Lupino in rare sadistic mode, as well as Jan Sterling, who makes a movie that much tougher just by showing up.


Dario Loren posts about Road House, a movie that the Siren loves to pieces. And Dario knows how to butter up the Siren, with kind words for Jean Negulesco, a director she's been touting for quite some time.

Only the best at Only the Cinema: Ed Howard is back with a searching look at Edmund Goulding's towering Nightmare Alley. Oh Tyrone my love, if only they'd let you do more like that one…

Vince Keenan checks in from Noir City once more, with a post about The Hunted, and also Angel Face, the Preminger noir that boasts an exceptionally fatale femme played by Siren darling Jean Simmons. What she went through to make that movie, but oh the movie they made…

Treasured Siren regular Vanwall Green always has an original insight, and his post at Vanwall Land, on the noir influence in Westerns, is no exception. He makes a case--and a damn fine one, at that--for John Ford's eternal Stagecoach as a noir.

Our worldwide reach expands to a Spanish-language post from Jaime Grijalba of Exodus 8:2, on The Great Flammarion, an Anthony Mann the Siren hasn't caught yet. Gloria Porta, where are you?

More cross-ocean noir love, from Michael C. at Cinema Ramble. This Australian loves the New York feel of Allen Baron's Blast of Silence: "Greasy food, mouldy apartments, early morning air." Visited our fair city before, haven't you Michael?

At Sinephile Salve-ation, Ariel Schudson talks about seeing This Gun for Hire and The Glass Key at the New Beverly--one of the few Los Angeles perks that can make a hardcore New Yorker hardcore jealous--and the strong influence the latter film had on the Coen brothers' great Miller's Crossing.

Beth Ann Gallagher of Spellbound meditates on Christmas Holiday, a movie that demonstrates why home for the holidays is as noir as it gets.

WB Kelso at Scenes from the Morgue: Retro-Pop Movie Ads shows us what ad campaigns used to look like with a fabulous set of newspaper ads for The Blue Dahlia.

Bill Wren of Piddleville on I Wake Up Screaming: "This should not be a good movie…[but] somehow it manages to be a good movie. How does that happen?" His answer, in part: Betty Grable. To which the Siren responds, amen!

Lee Price has his own charming take on I Wake Up Screaming at June and Art.

Darren Mooney is well into the land of neo-noir at the m0vie blog, with Se7en (seen it) L.A. Confidential (seen that too, HA) and Heat (see-whoops. Getting to it).

Peter Nellhaus is back, with a look at "film noir's younger, colorful, and sometimes flamboyant sibling, giallo." The film: Le Orme (Footprints).

Just click on all of Hilary Barta's limericks. You'll thank us. “Maltese Falcon Crest” at Limerwrecks. It's a hoot.

And because if you've had enough of The Maltese Falcon, you've had enough of life, sex and chocolate too, Donna Hill returns with a poster-rich post on that dreamy movie.

Edward Copeland, are you trying to get the Siren's attention with that post title, you sly puss? You didn't have to; you had her at Fritz Lang's The Woman in the Window.

Great noir cinematographers. Screen caps. Oh my stars this post is heaven. Mat Viola at Notes of a Film Fanatic.

"For Polonsky, the real crimes aren’t just muggings and murders, but all the backroom arrangements made by amoral bureaucrats with more concern for statistics and legal loopholes than all the lives they’re ruining.": Andreas at Pussy Goes Grrr, on Force of Evil, the one masterpiece Abraham Polonsky ever got a chance to direct in his prime.

"A paranoid murder thriller that, for all of its budgetary constraints, took viewers on a spiral of justified paranoia": Sean Axmaker goes deeper into Stranger on the Third Floor at Parallax View.

"The now famous blond wig, a sexy, cynical smirk and (dear God!) that anklet": From her best-in-the-house table at MSN Movies, The Hit List, noir maven Kim Morgan gives us more Barbara Stanwyck to love with a post on the great lady in Double Indemnity.

Marya knows it's Oscar season--so how has film noir fared over the years? She fills us in, at Cinema Fanatic.

Ah, the Siren had forgotten this line: “We didn’t exactly believe your story, Miss O’Shaughnessy. We believed your 200 dollars. I mean, you paid us more than if you had been telling us the truth, and enough more to make it all right.” Retro Hound jogs her memory.


Sean Axmaker puts on his MSN Movies Videodrone fedora, snaps the brim and eyes Phil Karlson, the "the toughest of the film noir directors," and the one he touts as Karlson's best, 99 River Street.

Vince Keenan has another bulletin from Noir City Northwest, in which he discusses whether we can say that George Cukor made a film noir.

Filmmaker Kurt Norton, whose These Amazing Shadows documentary includes a great deal of information about how nitrate movies are preserved, writes up another one to keep: goddess Ida Lupino's The Hitch-hiker.

"Noir made Mitchum vulnerable. Made Lupino belong. Made Widmark set for life.": A wonderful personal meditation on noir, and why sometimes even Grandma doesn't get it. From Becca at Germans Like Heavy Makeup, subtitled "A Blog About Eyeliner and Old Cinema. (But Mostly Old Cinema)." Becca, the Siren claims you as a kindred spirit this minute.


Monday, February 14

Critic David Ehrenstein, beloved to all those who comment here at the Siren's place, argues at Fablog that there are TWO great versions of M. And one of them is Joseph Losey's.

There is no more eloquent and consistent advocate for the great cinema of the past than Dave Kehr, from his perch at the New York Times. Last week at his blog he wrote about the Film Noir Foundation's restoration of The Prowler, and included warm praise for the aims of the blogathon, as well as the donation link. We're very grateful.

Sean Axmaker also began promoting the blogathon at MSN Movies last week, and also at his blog Parallax View.

Dr. Morbius of Krell Laboratories uses strikingly gorgeous screen shots to point out the visual similarities between Out of the Past and the Robert Wise Western that also starred Mitchum, Blood on the Moon--noir's visual vocabulary carrying over to another genre.

"Film noir is not a genre," wrote Paul Schrader in 1972, but wait up a minute, sunshine, says Greg Ferrara. He grapples with the Schrader essay and the whole issue of defining film noir at his place.

Craig Simpson also cites Schrader, then uses him as a jumping-off point to explore the literary antecedents of Freaks and Gun Crazy, at The Man From Porlock.

Vince Keenan talks about the Noir City Northwest Festival and its screenings of High Wall, preserved via the Film Noir Foundation, and Stranger on the Third Floor, which of course stars another Siren obsession, the great Peter Lorre. Then he swings into They Won't Believe Me, in which Robert Young fools around with Jane Greer (the Siren believes that--who wouldn't fool around with Jane Greer?) and Don't Bother to Knock, the Siren's choice for best outing of the very young Norma Jean.

Mr. K of Mr. K's Greek Cornucopia endeared himself to the Siren with his blog tagline, "through the lens of an over-intellectual Southern transplant" (but we're fun, aren't we?) and by writing about Fritz Lang (and Bertholt Brecht) via Hangmen Also Die.

Darren Mooney at m0vie.com begins an epic blogathon marathon with "Noir Battle to the Strong: Why I'm Afraid of Classic Cinema." Because it bites, and once those jaws close on your neck...no, seriously, a thoughtful introduction to a series of posts on neo-noir.

Peter Nelhaus, who's seen everything and was a friend to this blog when even my mother didn't read it (though in all fairness to Mom, it took me a while to send her the link), posts about Black Silk, sometimes called the first Thai film noir, and why it reminds him of I Wake Up Screaming.

Bob Fergusson's Allure, dedicated to actresses both iconic and unjustly forgotten, is one of the Siren's favorite blogs. Here he posts some great shots of shady noir dames, and the lines spoken by and about them.

"The stuff of film noir. Bad mistakes. Getting trapped. Disillusionment. No way out": Jacqueline T. Lynch at Another Old Movie Blog smokes out The Prowler, the great Joseph Losey noir that was the Film Noir Foundation's last big restoration effort.


The nature of pulp, Frank Tuttle's direction, Veronica Lake's beauty, Alan Ladd and that cat: Bill Wren at Piddleville muses on This Gun for Hire.

One of the toughest noirs, from one of the toughest and greatest directors: Ed Howard of the highly discerning blog Only the Cinema posts about Fritz Lang's The Big Heat.

The Philippine cinema's greatest friend and a longtime pal to the Siren, Noel Vera, boosts the international quotient even further with a post about star Nora Aunor in the drama: 'Merika, and two noirs: Condemned and Bulaklak City Jail.

Nomad Widescreen paisano and another old friend, Tony Dayoub of Cinema Viewfinder, posts about institutional racism as seen in John Sturges' Mystery Street. (The Siren's favorite role for the late Ricardo Montalban, by the by. Yes, of course more than Khan.)

Tinky Weisblat is back! With a post that stole the Siren's heart, about Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, why she's the most sympathetic thing in the film and a soon-to-be-deathless character summary of Betty: "Anybody can be 22." All this, and a recipe for icebox cake. Bliss.

People who know their classic-film blogs know that John McElwee's Greenbriar Picture Shows is a must. John adorns each post with images available nowhere else, culled from his own vast collection. His contribution concerns one of the Siren's very favorite noirs, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.

Ben Alpers of the U.S. Intellectual History blog posts an in-depth look at the role of noir in cultural history. With a great opening in which he describes what happens when he asks American students to write, cold, about what they think of film noir. (The results of doing that are, for once, not depressing at all.)

Film critic Betty Jo Tucker rejoices in a name that would make a great noir character right there--probably a seductive diner waitress who lifts some poor chump's wallet. She chips in at Memosiac with a review of Charles Pappas' It's a Bitter Little World, a collection of great quotes from this most quotable of genres.

Lee Price brings it back to the original audience with a post at his blog June and Art, dedicated to the letters his parents exchanged. In "Dark Side of Town," Lee speculates about which noirs they might have seen. Cross-posted at his Preserving a Family Collection blog.

Hilary Barta (Surlyh to the Siren regulars who know and love him) will be contributing limericks all week long. First up: Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Funds, about guess which classic? And of course, a summary of why you should donate that manages to say it all in five rhymed lines.

David Cairns' Shadowplay is an unquestionably great film site, one that frequently leaves the Siren gnawing her hanky in sheer envy. David has intellect, film knowledge and insight to burn, but does he ever get stuffy? Judge by the title of his post on Brute Force: "Hume and Desire."

"Don't you ever consider your own fate?" "Not really." John Weagly at Captain Spaulding on Skull Island shows there's more than one way to post about noir with a short play, Orville and Wilbur Discuss Film Noir.

Two excellent posts at Parallax View written by Richard T. Jameson: “Film Noir: An Introduction” and “When Noir Was Noir.” The anecdote about translating the title of Jean Renoir's The Southerner will cause much merriment in the Siren's bilingual household.

Over at MSN Videodrome, Sean Axmaker begins his noir-analysis posts with Stranger on the Third Floor, starring Peter Lorre, whom as you know the Siren loves dearly. Was this the first film noir?

Steve-O at Noir of the Week, the premier noir site on the Web, also interviewed Eddie Muller, and Eddie had a great deal more to say.

The magnificent faces of noir, via Donna Hill of Strictly Vintage Hollywood. So beautiful the Siren bookmarked it.

Paula Vitaris turns her great screencapping chops to Nicholas Ray'sOn Dangerous Ground. The shot of the suspect Robert Ryan beats up is particularly awesome.

Bill Ryan of The Kind of Face You Hate comes through for the blogathon with a post about Jacques Tourneur's Nightfall, with a particular focus on the city/country split in this beauteous movie.

Laura of Laura's Misc. Musings tackles Rudolph Mate's great DOA, still one of the grimmest and most unusual plot conceits ever filmed.

Silver Screen Modiste, in keeping with our Valentine's Day kickoff, posts a stunning collection of screen couples from noir films, with observations on the art of the publicity shot.

The Derelict (aka smart, funny Jenny Baldwin) at Libertas collects her favorite foreign posters for American films noir. The Siren's favorite: an arrestingly beautiful black-and-white poster for Force of Evil that is also guaranteed to stop Kim Morgan's heart.

Victor Ozols gives the blogathon a charming, funny, thorough shoutout at BlackBook Magazine Online. (The Siren had to correct "shoutout" from her original "shootout"; this is getting to her.) Many, many thanks, Victor.

The incomparable Glenn Kenny of foo-foo film site supreme Some Came Running (and MSN Movies) writes up--well, the Siren can't do better than his title: "Ciao, Manhattan, or, the chocolate of reality gets into the peanut butter of fiction in Sweet Smell of Success." If you think you've read it all on that film, trust the Siren, you haven't.

Kim Morgan of Sunset Gun gets it. She gets everything, like the logic of starting a film noir blogathon on Valentine's Day: "the perfect day, really, since so much of film noir concerns an emotion that makes one moody, malicious and often, in the best cinematic scenarios, murderous." Her essay, as ever written in her phenomenal style: Jacques Tourneur's Nightfall.

Kim Morgan also has a perch at MSN Movies, at The Hit List. Over there, she'll be taking us through the week with Barbara Stanwyck, a lady who would get many votes for the greatest actress the American cinema ever had. The series starts with a "Wrong Number"...


76 comments:

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Donation made. Post on "The Prowler" up here: http://anotheroldmovieblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/prowler-1951-film-noir-blogathon.html.

Thanks.

Bill Wren said...

I love Bacall's comment. That is exactly it. And sometimes seeing a movie a second time is like seeing a new movie because you watch it differently.

Anyway, donation link up and I scribbled about This Gun For Hire, a movie I had heard about but never seen until a week ago.
http://piddleville.com/2011/02/14/for-the-love-of-film-noir-this-gun-for-hire/

Ben Alpers said...

Donation made. And a post up on the U.S. Intellectual History Blog:
Film Noir and U.S. Intellectual History

Tinky said...

Here I am!
http://www.ourgrandmotherskitchens.com/?p=9179
I'm looking forward to reading this week.......

DavidEhrenstein said...

Over at his blog Only the Cinema, Ed Howard is celebrating Fritz Lang's The Big Heat

DavidEhrenstein said...

Lauren Bacall is not only an axiom of the cinema, she's a Working Goddess. I highly reccomend Paul Schrader's scandalously overlooked The Walker starring Woody Harrelson, Lily Tomlin, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Mrs. Schrader (Mary Beth Hurt) and Bacall. It's about a gay Washington D.C. insider, born to "old money" who has a sort-of-job working for a designing firm, and a boyfriend on the side (who he refuses to live with being "old school" and all.) His greatest pleasure is his weekly bridge games with his soigne socialte lady friends, where they gossip about all and sundry with great wit. When one of them (Scott-Thomas) finds herself more than a spot of trouble when her lover is murdered our anti-hero gallantly steps in to help -- getting into no end of trouble as a result, and upending the little world he loves so well. The climax is a grand "Who do you think you are?" speech delivered by Bacall to Harrelson with the force of a Racianian monologue. The brilliance of this moment blew me across the screening room. If you think you know Lauren Bacall you really don't until you've seen her in The Walker. Put it on your Netflix queque.

Operator_99 said...

I'm there - have a look and listen.

http://operator_99.blogspot.com/2011/02/for-love-of-film-noir-film-preservation.html

dr.morbius said...

An awesome bunch of links! And they're off! This is going to be fun.

Tony Dayoub said...

Hey Farran, here's a link to my piece on MYSTERY STREET.

Vanwall said...

Ooh, looks fun. I will post when I get home from work.

Chris Walters said...

Good heavens, SSS, what a find. Does that book exist in English? Your scholarship truly exists on the plane of love.

Laura said...

"Tonight's Movie" was posted early today in honor of the For the Love of Film (Noir) Blogathon! Here's the link:

http://laurasmiscmusings.blogspot.com/2011/02/tonights-movie-doa-1950.html

Thanks and here's to a successful week!

Best wishes,
Laura (Laura's Miscellaneous Musings)

The Derelict said...

My post on foreign film noir posters is up at Libertas HERE.

pvitari said...

I love film noir... and I'm a sucker for romance! What's a screencapping girl to do when the film noir blogathon begins on *Valentine's Day*??

The answer: screencap On Dangerous Ground, of course. A little big city noir, a little rural romance... everyone is happy. Right?

Anyway, screencaps of On Dangerous Ground are now available at http://paulasmoviepage.shutterfly.com/

D Cairns said...

Brute Force, from Jules Dassin, here:

http://dcairns.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/hume-and-desire/

bill r. said...

Here's my first one...

http://wwwbillblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/bleeding-over-everything.html

gmoke said...

Ah, "Blood on the Moon," the source of one of my favorite movie quotes. Robert Mitchum to Robert Preston, " I've seen dogs that wouldn't claim you for a son, Tate."

Mat said...

Siren,

I donated a few days ago.

Mat

Andreas said...

Here's my piece on Force of Evil! This is such an awesome cause to be fighting for; thanks for organizing this!

http://mendthiscrack.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/force-of-evil-and-the-love-of-film-noir/

Noel Vera said...

Hallo, Siren, thanks for the mention! I do have to say, and it's my fault for not clarifying, that the first film ''Merika' is a straight drama, it's 'Condemned' and 'Bulaklak sa City Jail' (Flowers of the City Jail) that are noir.

Jaime Grijalba said...

Early in the morning a post will be up here http://exodus8-2.blogspot.com

Probably when you read this comment this is already up.

Vanwall said...

Sorry for delay, I'm live now.

The Pulps and Western Noir

Beth Ann said...

I finally got mine up just before midnight! I wrote about a Christmas noir called, Christmas Holiday here:

http://missbethg.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/for-the-love-of-film-noir-christmas-holiday-1944/

D Cairns said...

Thanks, Farran! Have another:
http://dcairns.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/w-i-p-marks/

reanaclaire said...

Hello, coming by for the first time, I am looking for some entertainment blogs, hope you can drop me an email... reanact(at)gmail.com

thanks!

Michael C said...

Hello from Australia! Here's my first post, on BLAST OF SILENCE, replete with big shiny donation button. Been checking out everyone's posts - good work all!

http://cinemaramble.blogspot.com/2011/02/back-in-cold-black-silence.html

Ed Howard said...

A second review from me for the blogathon, this one on NIGHTMARE ALLEY:

http://seul-le-cinema.blogspot.com/2011/02/nightmare-alley.html

Loving reading everything so far!

DavidEhrenstein said...

Jacques Rivette reviewed Angel Face for "Cahiers" when it came out, and one can see its influence on his work --es epcially such dark delights a Duelle and L'Histoire de marie et Julien

The Nightmare Alley and Force of Evil Blogathon posts are first-rate.

Darren said...

Neo-Noir alert, which you can add to the above from the m0vie blog:

L.A. Confidential
https://m0vie.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/non-review-review-l-a-confidential/

se7en
https://m0vie.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/non-review-review-se7en/

Heat will be up in an hour or two. With Brick tomorrow.

pvitari said...

Ed Howard wrote:
A second review from me for the blogathon, this one on NIGHTMARE ALLEY:

http://seul-le-cinema.blogspot.com/2011/02/nightmare-alley.html

***
I also have Nightmare Alley screencapped at my page... just go to http://paulasmoviepage.shutterfly.com and click on the new "Noir" section at the top of the page and you'll find the screencaps for both On Dangerous Ground and Nightmare Alley.

Mat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mat said...

My post is up here:
http://notesofafilmfanatic.com/

rudyfan1926 said...

Post #2
http://strictly-vintage-hollywood.blogspot.com/2011/02/for-love-of-film-noir-maltese-falcon.html

Dario said...

I've also put up a post on noir's favorite painter: Edward Hopper.

http://darioloren.tumblr.com/post/3311078398/edward-hopper-and-the-art-of-noir

Bill Wren said...

My Day 2 post - The accidental noir: I Wake Up Screaming
http://piddleville.com/2011/02/15/the-accidental-noir/

Joe Thompson said...

Farran: It's going great so far. I just made my money donation and here is my contribution on The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion:
The Roots of Film Noir
http://cablecarguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/roots-of-film-noir-february-15-2011.html

Meredith said...

my post is now up!

http://voteforgracie.blogspot.com/2011/02/modern-medusas-setting-up-femme-fatale.html

D Cairns said...

1939 -- the gangster yarn meets psychoanalysis in Charles Vidor's BLIND ALLEY and a noir is born --

http://dcairns.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/psychobabble-vs-psycho-rabble/

Drew said...

Hello Siren! Here is my post, a little piece on The Big Clock:

http://thebluevial.blogspot.com/2011/02/big-clock-john-farrow-1948.html

Ed Howard said...

Here's another review, Siren, this time on Fritz Lang's FURY:

http://seul-le-cinema.blogspot.com/2011/02/fury.html

What a great blogathon!

Darren said...

You can put "Brick" down from me:
http://m0vie.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/non-review-review-brick/
And I'll have Black Swan up in a few hours. Tomorrow is cyber-noir.

Would you like me to email you the links ahead of time?

The Siren said...

Dear patient blogathon participants, the Siren sees you all, and in email too! She is updating slowly this morning, in chunks. You are not forgotten!

dr.morbius said...

I've posted my second entry, taking a look at No Man of Her Own and my long love affair with Cornell Woolrich. Here's the link.

The Siren said...

All right my little chickadees, the Siren must dash now, alas. She will be updating links late this afternoon. Meanwhile, bop over to Marilyn's place and let her know too; she is faster than the Siren!

bill r. said...

Another one...

http://wwwbillblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/plague-noir.html

rudyfan1926 said...

Running behind today, but I will have a posting on Dark Passage up later today at Strictly Vintage Hollywood.

Jesse said...

My contribution, on Renoir's "Woman on the Beach," is finally up here: http://memoriesofthefuture.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/support-film-preservation/

Have been intensely enjoying all the contributions so far!

-jesse

Vanwall said...

"the film blogger and beloved children's book author known as the Siren" ?

Java Bean Rush said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Java Bean Rush said...

Here's the link to "When You Think about Film Noir."

- Java

D Cairns said...

HOPEFULLY a special edition of The Forgotten will be appearing today. Until then, here's a look at another noir related to THE SOUND OF FURY --

http://dcairns.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/limp/

THE LIMPING MAN was directed by Endfield and stars Lloyd Bridges.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Hi, Farran! Finally here with the first of three:

http://sergioleoneifr.blogspot.com/2011/02/attraction-of-noir-vintage-ads-and.html

A look at vintage noir newspaper movie ads and marquees featuring keen noir double features. Actual writing on the way!

Ed Howard said...

My fourth blogathon post is up, on Robert Wise's BORN TO KILL:

http://seul-le-cinema.blogspot.com/2011/02/born-to-kill.html

More to come...

Bill Wren said...

Day 4: Who dunnit? What did they do? Who cares? - Anatomy of a Murder
http://piddleville.com/2011/02/17/who-dunnit-who-cares-anatomy-of-a-murder/

Ok. It's a lame title. It's early morning. :)

Darren said...

Blade Runner
http://m0vie.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/non-review-review-blade-runner/

Dark City
http://m0vie.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/non-review-review-dark-city-directors-cut/

More to come tonight...

j m ranger said...

avpreserve.com and Joshua Ranger are here, posting from the wilds of Oregon while visiting his dark past...

http://www.avpreserve.com/blog/noirstalgia/

rudyfan1926 said...

Okay, Dark Passage is up
http://strictly-vintage-hollywood.blogspot.com/2011/02/for-love-of-film-noir-dark-passage.html

The Gimlet Eye said...

Siren, I return. My contribution to your blogathon:

http://lthomasaydlette.tumblr.com/post/3349384916/my-noir-neighborhood-body-heat

The Gimlet Eye said...

Oh, skip that Gimlet Eye thing. For some reason, i can't comment on your site without a google log-in.

Larry Aydlette

dr.morbius said...

Okay, I've got another post up. This time, I'm looking at Andre de Toth's Crime Wave.

Beth Ann said...

Post number two went up tonight. This time I wrote about a sideline character, the mechanical man, in The City That Never Sleeps.

http://missbethg.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/for-the-love-of-film-noir-the-mechanical-man-of-the-city-that-never-sleeps-1953/

Michael C said...

Hiya,
A second post for the blogathon! This time on THE PHENIX CITY STORY.
http://cinemaramble.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweat-and-blood.html

Ed Howard said...

Here's another one from me, on the message noir CROSSFIRE:

http://seul-le-cinema.blogspot.com/2011/02/crossfire.html

Bill Wren said...

For Day 5: Chinatown and the self-aware noir
http://piddleville.com/2011/02/18/chinatown-and-the-self-aware-noir/

KC said...

Here's my contribution http://classicmovieblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/for-love-of-film-noir-blog-thon.html

Good work this week!

D Cairns said...

CAGED --
http://dcairns.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/hope-in-hell/

ON THE NIGHT OF THE FIRE --
http://dcairns.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/things-i-read-off-the-screen-in-on-the-night-of-the-fire/

Darren said...

Miami Vice (Pilot)
http://m0vie.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/miami-vice-brothers-keeper-pilot/

Non-Review Review: Insomnia (2002)
http://m0vie.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/non-review-review-insomnia-2002/

... and still more to come!

Vanwall said...

Second post for the Blogathon is up

Noir madness, with spurs

W.B. Kelso said...

For Sunday:

http://scenesfromthemorgue.blogspot.
com/search/label/The%20Big%20Sleep

http://scenesfromthemorgue.blogspot.
com/search/label/Kiss%20Me%20Deadly

And for anyone needing to catch up, a handy link to check out a whole week's worth of ads (and then some):

http://scenesfromthemorgue.blogspot.
com/search/label/For%20the%20Love%20
of%20Film%20Noir

David said...

Hey Siren,

Another post for the Blogathon. In this one I show off some of the great cinematography of the underrated Leo Tover (The Snake Pit, The Day the Earth Stood Still)

http://bit.ly/dKvOIH

Jesse said...

I was inspired to take on a second contribution last minute; my post on San Francisco as seen in "Dark Passage" is here.

It was a pleasure to be both a contributor and reader over the last five days!

-jesse

Neil Sarver said...

Here’s mine: http://bleeding-tree.blogspot.com/2011/02/for-love-of-film-noir-road-house.html

Catherine Grant said...

Great blog-a-thon! Donation made a week back and today I posted an entry of scholarly links on Film Noir and Ne-Noir, together with a new video essay (compiled by me) on GILDA, my favourite, and probably the most- written about, noir, at FILM STUDIES FOR FREE: http://filmstudiesforfree.blogspot.com/2011/02/studies-of-film-noirishness-with-love.html

Thanks.

Ryan Kelly said...

My post on Femme Fatale:

http://medflyquarantine.blogspot.com/2011/02/morality-of-noir-femme-fatale.html

stephan.wynn said...

Check this out - noir animated film, looks like it just launched. I love the Slipper Joe character and the reference in the pitch bible.

www.twoheadedcop.com

Ray Ottulich said...

A bit late finding this... We love Film Noir and are addicted enough to make our own Film Noir Vignettes.

Here is a Neo Noir set in Seattle for you all to enjoy:

https://vimeo.com/48912233