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book: The Turn of the Key (2019) by Ruth Ware

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 30, 2019

Although the title leads one to think this is going to be a riff on Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw (adapted as one of my all-time favorite movies, Jack Clayton’s 1961 The Innocents, with Deborah Kerr), in reality, beyond the basic setup — young governess in remote house, ghas read more

The Twelve Shorts of Christmas #6: Sin by Silence (2009)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 30, 2019

US / 14 minutes / color / White Heat Productions Dir & Scr: Nick White (i.e., Nick Paul White) Pr: Joe Montoya-Orosco, Matthew Del Ruth, Nick White (i.e., Nick Paul White) Cine: Matthew Del Ruth Cast: Les Mahoney, Maria Olsen, Azmyth Kaminski, Lindsay Zillgitt, Myles Cranford, Sandra Herbert, Aa read more

book: The Abbess of Crewe (1974) by Muriel Spark

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 30, 2019

A short and often very funny satire of the Watergate affair, published a matter of months after Richard Nixon’s precipitate departure from the White House. Here the malefactors are transformed from middle-aged oathly US male politicians to become the similarly aged occupants of a fictional co read more

The Twelve Shorts of Christmas #5: The Bloody Fish (2011)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 29, 2019

Malaysia / 14 minutes / color with some bw / D1 Productions, Moving Pictures Dir & Scr & Cine: Dick Chua Pr: Aik Sern Ng, Stephen Chong Cast: Ke Feng Lum, Pei Xuan, Jia Yen Wong, Melvin Koh, Shan Fei Lim, Yoke Lan Lee An odd, enigmatic short made by an alumnus of The One Academy in Petaling read more

The Twelve Shorts of Christmas #4: Concerning the Bodyguard (2016)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 28, 2019

US / 10 minutes / color / Kasra Farahani Dir: Kasra Farahani Pr: Jose Nunez, Zamin Mirza Story: “Concerning the Bodyguard” (1978, New Yorker) by Donald Barthelme Cine: Alexander Alexandrov Cast: Salman Rushdie (voice), Junes Zahdi, Simon Ebrahimi, Ayden Mayeri, Zaid Abro, Billy Khoury, Lisa Goodman. read more

book: Invisible City (2014) by Julia Dahl

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 27, 2019

Rebekah Roberts is a stringer for a downmarket NYC rag. When a woman’s naked body is discovered in the rubble of a building site, Rebekah happens to be the reporter given the story. It has particular resonance for her. The dead woman is from Brooklyn’s secretive Hasidim community. Rebek read more

book: The Flight Attendant (2018) by Chris Bohjalian

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 27, 2019

Cassie Bowden, fast approaching forty, is an alcoholic long-haul flight attendant with a bad habit of having one-night stands at the stopover points with male passengers. One morning she wakes in Dubai with a splitting hangover to discover that the man in bed beside her is dead, his throat slit whi read more

The Twelve Shorts of Christmas #3: Chinese Box (2009)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 27, 2019

US / 11 minutes / color / Mike Plante Dir & Scr: Nicholas McCarthy Pr: Sam Zuckerman Cine: Bridger Nielson Cast: Petra Wright, Sam Ball. An odd little movie that seems almost pointless until you let its meaning sink in. A wannabe writer (Ball) has fixed up a meeting in what appears to be a seas read more

The Twelve Shorts of Christmas #2: The Ex-Convict (1904)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 26, 2019

US / 9 minutes / bw silent / Edison Manufacturing Company Dir & Scr & Cine: Edwin S. Porter Story (uncredited): Number 973 (n.d. play) by Robert C. Hilliard and Edwin Holland Cast: uncredited. One of a string of short movies made by the Edison studio under the direction of Edwin S. Porter ( read more

The Twelve Shorts of Christmas #1: Nowhere to Hide (2017)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 25, 2019

US / 26 minutes / color / FauxMeme, Windfall, Akkarai Dir & Pr & Scr: Aditya Narayanan Cine: Ravi Shankar Cast: Nathan Emley, Maria Philip, Jen Floor Matthews (i.e., Jen Floor Mathews), Ben Chadwell, Stevie McKim, Julian Roa, Justin Stanley, Andrew Max, Kumar Gunasekaran, Dinesh Chandrasekha read more

Psychoanalysis (2015)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 21, 2019

Australia / 82 minutes / color / Emporium, Windrose, Tee Pot Dir & Scr: James Raue Pr: James Raue, Julia Kelly, Adam Wise Cine: Jay Grant, Kent Marcus, Adric Watson Cast: Benedict Wall, James Raue, Ryan O’Kane, Michael Whalley, Jennie Lee, Alan Flower, Jessica Craig-Piper, Simon London, Joanna read more

book: Angelology (2010) by Danielle Trussoni

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 18, 2019

The premise of Angelology is that, sometime after the Flood (which, according to this book, was an historical event), many of the Fallen Angels bred with human women to produce the Nephilim, which can pass among us as human if they want to but at other times reveal themselves to be much bigger than read more

International Crime (1938)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 18, 2019

US / 64 minutes / bw / Grand National Dir: Charles Lamont Pr: Max Alexander, Arthur Alexander Scr: Jack Natteford, John Krafft Story: Foxhound (1937) by Maxwell Grant (i.e., Theodore A. Tinsley) Cine: Marcel Le Picard Cast: Rod La Rocque, Astrid Allwyn, Thomas Jackson, Oscar O’Shea, Lew Hearn, Wilhe read more

The Shadow Strikes (1937)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 14, 2019

US / 62 minutes / bw / Grand National Dir: Lynn Shores Pr: Max Alexander, Arthur Alexander Scr: Al Martin, Rex Taylor Story: The Ghost of the Manor (1933) by Maxwell Grant (i.e., Walter B. Gibson) Cine: Marcel Pickard (i.e., Marcel Le Picard) Cast: Rod La Rocque, Lynn Anders (i.e., Agnes Anderson), read more

Behind the Mask (1932)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 11, 2019

US / 68 minutes / bw / Columbia Dir: John Francis Dillon Pr: Harry Cohn Scr: Jo Swerling, Dorothy Howell Story: “In the Secret Service” (unpublished) by Jo Swerling Cine: Teddy Tetzlaff Cast: Jack Holt, Constance Cummings, Boris Karloff, Claude King, Bertha Mann, Edward Van Sloan, Willard Robertso read more

book: These Violent Delights (2012) by Sharon Linnea

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 9, 2019

Because I’ve spent part of my professional life writing about movies, I have a fascination for novels that have the cinema or moviemaking as a backdrop. When I spotted These Violent Delights for sale a few months ago I therefore snapped it up: a murder mystery set in and around the making of read more

book: X (2015) by Sue Grafton

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 8, 2019

It’s 1989 and series PI Kinsey Millhone works on three cases alongside each other, all of them pro bono, and in so doing discovers that an opinion she’s held about someone for years was in fact misplaced. The most significant of the three cases concerns a man who has obviously behaved a read more

Don’t Answer the Phone! (1980)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 7, 2019

US / 95 minutes / color / Hammer–Castle, Scorpion, Crown International Dir: Robert Hammer Pr & Scr: Robert Hammer, Michael D. Castle Story: Nightline (seemingly unpublished) by Michael Curtis Cine: James Carter Cast: Flo Gerrish (i.e., Flo Lawrence), James Westmoreland, Ben Frank, Nicholas Worth read more

book: The Little Stranger (2009) by Sarah Waters

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 5, 2019

A few years ago I read Waters’s The Paying Guests and, while I was in many ways impressed, I didn’t actually love the book. It was beautifully written but didn’t seem to me to deliver what it should for a novel of such prodigious length. Waters, I thought, was an author I ought to read more

The Stick Up (1977)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 4, 2019

US / 101 minutes / color / Backstage Productions, Trident–Barber Dir & Scr: Jeffrey Bloom Pr: George Pappas, Arnon Milchan (uncredited) Cine: Michael Reed Cast: David Soul, Pamela McMyler, Johnny Wade, Michael Balfour, Tony Melody, Norman Jones, Gordon Gostelow, Connie Vascott, David King, Lesli read more
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