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

Moving, Non-Publication…and Dada?

I rarely break the fourth wall here: personal stories I tell are usually contextualized within some larger theme, like interrogating memory. Today, however, I speak directly to you – to explain why, after 16 posts in 3½ months, I have not posted since June 25. I will not, however, explain why I did not post … Continue reading Moving, Non-Publication…and Dada?

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

Walter Mondale, Perry Mason and George Floyd

This is how I conclude the opening section of Chapter 1 of Interrogating Memory: Film Noir Spurs a Deep Dive Into My Family History…and My Own (publication TBD): I also learned that by 1920, Pennsylvania was the 2nd most common American state for the last name “Berger” (14%), behind only New York (23%),[i] which meant … Continue reading Walter Mondale, Perry Mason and George Floyd

Sybil: A brief, dramatic epilogue

Since July 2017, when I began to research and write Interrogating Memory: Film Noir Spurs a Deep Dive Into My Family History…and My Own, I have spent hundreds of hours gathering information online, pulled many dusty books of the shelves to review, sorted through dozens of photographs and retrieved countless documents from my filing cabinets. … Continue reading Sybil: A brief, dramatic epilogue

How NOT to interrogate memory: Sybil, false memories and flawed incentives

At 9 pm EST on Sunday, November 14, 1976, approximately 20% of Americans had their television set turned to their local ABC affiliate. What they were about to watch, across four hours over two nights, would win four Primetime Emmy Awards the following spring. It would also change the course of psychiatry for decades, and—at … Continue reading How NOT to interrogate memory: Sybil, false memories and flawed incentives

Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XIII

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 May 4, 2020. Besides staying inside as much as possible, we converted our dining room into … Continue reading Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XIII

Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XII

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 May 4, 2020. Besides staying inside as much as possible, we converted our dining room into … Continue reading Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XII

Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XI

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 May 4, 2020. Besides staying inside as much as possible, we converted our dining room into … Continue reading Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XI