May 14, 2006

More Noir [Open Thread]

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at May 14, 2006 11:12 PM

Keep the book recommendations coming! I'm tempted to follow Kevin Drum (and several other bloggers) and read all the Hugo nominees. (I've already got two down.) Even better would be to get ahead of the curve and read one of next year's Hugo nominees, but that's a little harder to figure out. Meanwhile, all of the noir recommendations are especially timely given the movie I ended up seeing Friday night:

Brick: A detective noir film, complete with complicated plots, beautiful and mysterious women, and an investigator with a troubled past who gets beaten up a lot. The characters all talk and act like they're in a 1950's noir flick. There's a gimmick here, however, which is that the film is set at a high school with students as the principal characters. This could have come off as ridiculous, but the film does an excellent job with this juxtaposition, sometimes making it completely believable and seamless, and other times playing the contrast for laughs. Much like the best episodes of Buffy, the high school is used as a rich source of archetypes, and the noir setting works as a metaphor for the usual struggles of adolescence. All that aside, I love a good detective story, and the movie delivers in that department as well. Rating: 4/5

Calexico: Garden Ruin: I first encountered Calexico through their collaboration with Iron & Wine last year. In fact, their sound is something like Iron & Wine transplanted to the southwestern states. (I'm guessing the name of the band is a blend of "California" and "Mexico".) Calexico's latest album is a solid addition to their catalog, moving between a variety of styles—some songs sound more country, some have a more Mexican sound, and the last track "All Systems Red" has more of a straight rock sound. The album doesn't quite reach the heights of In the Reins, but it's a good listen. "Roka" wouldn't be out of place on a Robert Rodriguez soundtrack. Rating: 3.5/5

Tags: Books, Movies, Music, Open Thread

Actually, you know what you need? Just print out all of 365 Tomorrows up 'till now. Think of it as literary "caulking", since it can easily fill in the gaps and, being a bunch of short stories, you don't need to bother with keeping track of context between distractions.

I wouldn't recommend trying to print them out one at a time by hand--a bit of commandline-fu (wget, batch mode lynx or links, cat) can turn it into one nice contiguous page for you, I bet.

Posted by: Lemming | May 15, 2006 1:00 AM

Wow, I'm some sort of a reverse ninja. Once again, I managed to completely not see an entire chunk of your post--this time your review of Brick. I've actually been wanting to see it, so I'm glad to hear you liked it. Now I'm that much more likely to go watch it. Yay.

Posted by: Lemming | May 15, 2006 3:26 PM
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