Grappling With the Instinctive – and Unnecessary – Fictionalization of History

I recently watched Michael Mann’s Public Enemies for the first time since its 2009 theatrical release. Based on Bryan Burrough’s excellent 2004 book of the same name, it narrows the focus of the sprawling book to the cat-and-mouse game played by bank robber John Dillinger and Melvin Purvis, special agent in charge of the Chicago … Continue reading Grappling With the Instinctive – and Unnecessary – Fictionalization of History

Finding The Worst Character In Neo-Noir: Let The Voting Begin!

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!! In two previous posts, I… Introduced two metrics, POINTS and Opportunity-Adjusted POINTS (“OAP”), to rank films by how often they are cited as “neo-noir,” allowing for how many reputable authors on film noir could have listed them.Selected 64 characters as contenders for “worst character in neo-noir.” These 64 characters are evenly distributed … Continue reading Finding The Worst Character In Neo-Noir: Let The Voting Begin!

Finding The Worst Character In Neo-Noir: Setting The Brackets

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!! [Editor's note: In an earlier version of this post, I neglected to include Woo-Jin Lee in my Cunning Manipulator list, so I correct this post by adding him and removing Hedra Carlson] In a previous post, I used two metrics—POINTS and Opportunity-Adjusted POINTS (“OAP”) to identify 96 films most often cited as … Continue reading Finding The Worst Character In Neo-Noir: Setting The Brackets

Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing VIII

I have described elsewhere how my wife Nell, our two daughters—one in 4th grade and one in 6th grade—and I were already coping with social distancing and the closure of the public schools in Brookline, Massachusetts until at least April 7, 2020. Besides staying inside as much as possible, we converted our dining room into … Continue reading Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing VIII

And for my 100th post…100 random facts (about me)

This is post #100; thank you for continuing to “just bear with me.” December 19 is also the two-year anniversary of this site’s launch (so I should gift myself either cotton or china, and it should be red). To honor this symmetry, and to lighten the mood from my previous three posts (dealing—however obliquely—with the … Continue reading And for my 100th post…100 random facts (about me)

Why I chose…The Big Knockover

I am not generally a fan of Facebook “challenges.” Nonetheless, when my friend Rebecca nominated me for the seven-day book challenge, I accepted. The rules were simple: on each of seven consecutive days, post a book cover, with no explanations, while also nominating another person for the challenge. On May 16, 2018, I completed the … Continue reading Why I chose…The Big Knockover

Film Noir: A Personal Journey

A few years ago, I turned 48. On a lark, I decided to celebrate (in part) by ranking my favorite film noirs in a Facebook post. When I tried to recall every film noir I had ever seen, however, I realized that I needed to compile a master list of film noirs (which does not … Continue reading Film Noir: A Personal Journey