Turner Classic Movie Festival this Spring…..guess who’s Film Noir’ing It


Yes, Alonzo is headed out to LA this spring. Staying with my friend Charles. The festival takes place all around Hollywood Blvd, so I’d imagine it’s quite “atmospheric”. But one of the major themes is film noir, and (if I can use the patois of the medium) “that’s suits me just swell.” I don’t know where to begin talking about it.

For me, when I first saw “The Sweet Smell of Success” I knew there was a darkness that I hadn’t experienced or seen before. This was ages ago, and I thought it was a damned grown-up movie. People were tormented, raked over the coals, and then it seemed somebody sat back and laughed at ’em. “The Asphalt Jungle” was another. Marilyn Monroe wanting to take a vacation with her “Uncle Lou,” Sam Jaffe caught cause he was watching a teenage girl wiggle and Dix trying to make it back to the ranch. Any ranch. Juicy stuff. Theater-Wise, it got me thinking about CHARACTER. I saw the roller-coaster characters could take emotionally—-they weren’t just bad people—-they were deliciously bad people.

I read today (a small mini-book that I have “Cult Fiction”, and I forget the artist who said it) that artists who live at each extreme are the most fun to appreciate. If you stake out your claim as the typical next new thing, and you embrace all the traditional accoutrements of said new thing (take Lady Gaga or Russell Brand), then you are considerably less fascinating than the artist who plays in that world and also the world of mainstream society. Give me the Lady Gaga who also writes like a bad-ass conservative. Dudley Moore was funny in “Arthur” PLAYING Arthur. Nobody likes Russell Brand movies because he IS Arthur. There is a distinction, and based on how his movies tank—-one that audiences already know.