All The Essays

And the Most Compelling 1980s Film Teen Character Is…

At 12:03 EST on May 17, 2022, I posted this poll on Twitter, using the handle @drnoir33: Let the tournament begin! Who is the most compelling teenaged character in a 1980s film? The 1st 1st round matchup between Sheltered Kids is Frances "Baby" Houseman (DIRTY DANCING) vs. Stacey Hamilton (FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH) Who … Continue reading And the Most Compelling 1980s Film Teen Character Is…

I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 3

Part 1 of this essay may be found here. Part 2 of this essay may be found here. When I awoke in my new apartment – on the 8th floor of the Madison Building in the Presidential Apartment complex, situated where City Avenue meets the Schuylkill Expressway – on Wednesday, February 14, 2001, the temperature … Continue reading I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 3

I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 2

Part 1 of this essay may be found here. I cannot remember exactly when I first saw Hammett. By which I mean, when I first watched the second half of the 1982 film, a fictional account set in 1928 San Francisco, just before the eponymous writer published his first novel. One night, while I was … Continue reading I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 2

I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 1

At around 12:30 on the morning of February 15, 2001, I sat down at my computer, opened my word processing package and began to type. I was emotionally drained, exhausted and still a bit tipsy – despite a cold night drive. A very foolish cold night drive. I was compelled to write everything I needed … Continue reading I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 1

Who Is the Most Compelling Teenaged Film Character of the 1980s?

The otherworldly Netflix series Stranger Things returns on May 27. As a result, my wife Nell and I are watching the entire series straight through – all 25 episodes – for the third time. Some episodes, like the latter two of Season Two, we are watching for a fourth or fifth time. I first wrote … Continue reading Who Is the Most Compelling Teenaged Film Character of the 1980s?

Everyone has an abortion story to tell. Here are Nell’s and mine.

If this article is correct, the Supreme Court of the United States (“Supreme Court”) is on the verge of voting to overturn both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1973 and 1992 decisions, respectively, which guaranteed women access to abortion everywhere in the United States as a Constitutional right. Overturning Roe and … Continue reading Everyone has an abortion story to tell. Here are Nell’s and mine.

Listen, you mug!

I have repeatedly sung the praises of the Film Noir Foundation (“FNF”) on this website. Its steadfast devotion to rescuing, preserving and restoring vital pieces of our shared cultural heritage is exemplary. The annual NOIR CITY festival has been an essential part of my own film noir “personal journey,” even if I have not attended … Continue reading Listen, you mug!

Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part III

In June and September of 2021, I wrote the first two essays in a series on the evolution of the methods I use to rank my favorite tracks (a term I prefer to “songs”). These essays presented the history of the 309 individual “mix” cassettes, videocassettes and CDs I constructed between August 1981 and August … Continue reading Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part III

Tracking the generic ballot polls…and those pesky Undecideds

In May 2017, I launched the “A Wicked Early Look” series with an assessment of Democrats’ 2018 election United States Senate (“Senate”) prospects. The next month I wrote an analogous essay about the gubernatorial elections later that November and in 2018. Borrowing a concept from FiveThirtyEight.com forecasting models, I began to calculate what I call … Continue reading Tracking the generic ballot polls…and those pesky Undecideds

Final Results for the Most Heroic Character in Film Noir

At midnight EST on February 6, 2022, I posted this poll on Twitter, using the handle @drnoir33: Here is the Sweet 16 first round matchup between Intrepid Investigators. Who was more heroic: Barton Keyes in DOUBLE INDEMNITY Det. Lt. Mark McPherson in LAURA You decide! #FilmNoirHeroes The attached poll gave voters 24 hours to choose … Continue reading Final Results for the Most Heroic Character in Film Noir