Who am I?
My name is Matthew Berger, though a friend recently christened me “Doctor Noir.” That is now my Twitter handle, in fact: @drnoir33; please follow me there! This photograph, taken by a professional photographer in San Francisco’s Castro station during the 2018 NOIR CITY film festival, best captures that persona…minus one of my replica sonic screwdrivers
Otherwise, I am a data geek, writer, historian and film noir devotee. My credentials: BA in political science from Yale, AM in government from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and a MA in biostatistics and a PhD in epidemiology, both from Boston University School of Public Health. You may find my doctoral thesis on the health impacts of neighborhood walkability here. While at Harvard, I wrote four papers using baseball statistics that landed me my first job in a two-decade-long career as a health-related data analyst. In 2017, I declared myself a full-time writer. Around the same, I finished compiling a comprehensive database of 4,825 movies at least one authority had labeled “film noir;” this database has informed numerous analyses and – as you see on the home page – my book Interrogating Memory: Film Noir Spurs a Deep Dive Into My Family History…and My Own.
On a more personal note, my musical Trinity is Genesis, Stan Ridgway and Miles Davis. I use “trinity” ironically because I am a Jewish-raised atheist. While my favorite sitcom is Barney Miller, I think Doctor Who and Twin Peaks (all three seasons) are two of the best things ever put on television. Placed for adoption in utero – another inspiration for Interrogating Memory – I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and I live in the suburbs of Boston. My politics strongly lean left, though I also know no group has a monopoly on good ideas.
Actually, all you really need to know is that my wife, our daughters and our golden retriever keep me happy, sane and grounded.
If there is anything you would like to know, please ask!