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The Key & Diary of a Mad Old Man by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki
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The Key is perhaps the ideal point of entry to the world of Tanizaki; the perfect encapsulation of his themes and style. Employing a twin diary format, The Key oscillates between the private diaries of a middle-aged man (Kenmochi) and his beautiful w...more
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima
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The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea is a powerful, disturbing, and strangely beautiful novel about a sailor who knows glory awaits him in some form over some horizon and the young boy who idolizes him as a hero, only to see the sailor fall in...more
The Noir Style by Alain Silver
The Noir Style
by Alain Silver
read in October, 2006
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Beautiful coffee table book with huge, glossy noir images, each of which is briefly analyzed in terms of mise-en-scene (composition, lighting, angle, expression) and grouped along with other images that illustrate some aspect of the noir style. It's...more
The Art of Noir by Eddie Muller
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A nice, large folio, thoroughly illustrated with images of poster art used to promote noir films back in the day. Muller isn’t trying to exhaust the gamut of film noir poster art here, but simply to provide an adequate representation of the various s...more
Rendezvous in Black by Cornell Woolrich
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On the surface, Rendezvous in Black might look like one of the coldest stories ever told. An ordinary young man meets an ordinary young woman every night outside of a drugstore window. One day he is a couple of minutes late, and by the time he arrive...more
Hardboiled America by Geoffrey O'Brien
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This book was everything I had hoped it would be: an entertainingly written exegesis on the history of the paperback novel (and the specific brands like Pocket, Gold Medal, and Avon) and of the role the paperback played in mid-twentieth century Ameri...more
Dark City by Eddie Muller
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Dark City is noir czar Eddie Muller’s entertaining and informative exploration of film noir. Since film noir is essentially an urban phenomenon, Muller looks at film noir as if it were a city, and focuses chapters on different noir themes or aspects,...more
Laura by Vera Caspary
Laura
by Vera Caspary
read in July, 2006
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We’ve all seen the film, but Caspary isn’t a name that gets mentioned much. Recently reissued by The Feminist Press, Laura is written in a style that Caspary called “the Wilkie Collins method,” or that one could call the “Rashomon method,” in which m...more
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