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 26 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?

Crafting the “Soundtrack” to my Interrogating Memory book

In 2005, Rupert Holmes published his second novel, a murder mystery called Swing. Being, well, Rupert Holmes, he also wrote and recorded an accompanying seven-track CD of swing-inflected music; both are well worth finding. The combination, meanwhile, led him to quip, “I’ve been singing songs from my new book.” In the past month, I received … Continue reading Crafting the “Soundtrack” to my Interrogating Memory book

Just Bear With Me turns five – and I turn the spotlight on other creators

Taegan Goddard’s must-read current events compendium Political Wire – I read the latest “stories” to my wife Nell upon awaking each day – has a members-only forum called The Cloakroom. Just over a week ago, I wrote a short piece there called “A clinically-depressed electorate?” This is the key passage: “But there is a larger … Continue reading Just Bear With Me turns five – and I turn the spotlight on other creators

Another Surrealist Epic Post-Thanksgiving Poem

I begin with a correction: the following epic poem is technically Dadaist, not Surrealist. Two years ago…well, two years ago everything was different. Outside of places like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), almost nobody had ever heard of COVID-19. The race for the 2020 Democratic … Continue reading Another Surrealist Epic Post-Thanksgiving Poem

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