Monday, May 31, 2010

Goodbye to another Noir Hero! Dennis Hopper (1936 -2010)

Dennis Hopper, the rogue actor and director who kickstarted a new era of indie moviemaking with his trippy '60s road picture, Easy Rider, who turned a nitrous-sucking villain in Blue Velvet into an icon of roaring weirdness, and who worked in the great American movie genres with any number of great American moviemakers, died yesterday in Venice, Calif. He was 74 and had been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer last fall.

Read more: 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ken Bruen and THE DEVIL

You don’t want to meet Jack Taylor in person, ever, but if you’re a big crime fan, you do want to read every book he features in.
Irish Times
America - the land of opportunity, a place where economic prosperity beckons: - but not for PI Jack Taylor, who's just been refused entry.

Disappointed and bitter, he thinks that an encounter with an over-friendly stranger in an airport bar is the least of his problems. Except that this stranger seems to know rather more than he should about Jack.

Jack thinks no more of their meeting and resumes his old life in Galway. But when he’s called to investigate a student murder – connected to an elusive Mr K – he remembers the man from the airport.

Is the stranger really is who he says he is? With the help of the Jameson, Jack struggles to make sense of it all.

After several more murders and too many coincidental encounters, Jack believes he may have met his nemesis. But why has he been chosen? And could he really have taken on the devil himself?
Jack Taylor has become one of today’s most interesting shamuses.
The Times

 More Information
Transworld Ireland • Crime & mystery
Publication Date: 13/05/2010 • 288 pages • Royal Octavo • ISBN: 1848270194
Territory: UK C/Wealth + Can, EU • EAN: 9781848270190


Sunday, May 2, 2010

London Boulevard Lives! Bruen queues for an Oscar nod!

Here’s the first official photograph from GK Films’ LONDON BOULEVARD, directed by Academy Award-winning William Monahan and starring Golden Globe winner Colin Farrell and Academy Award-nominated actress Keira Knightley.

Based on the book by Ken Bruen, “London Boulevard” is the story of a man newly released from prison who falls in love with a reclusive young movie star and finds himself in a duel with a vicious gangster.

Photo of William Monahan directing London Boulevard

London Boulevard is currently in post production and has no official release date. I assume that it will premiere at one of the fall film festivals, possibly the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Noir Art by Beric Henderson

Why do shadows recur so often in my writing, photos and paintings? Not
wanting to delve too far into my own psyche, I can only say that I was
undoubtedly impressed as a child by film noir (especially Bogart films
such as The Maltese Falcon, Key Largo, Dark Passage) and Hitchcock films,
and I still am. 

The Lighthouse Mystery (2003)

The portrayal of the otherworldly side of society and the
darker side of human nature was powerfully conveyed on the big screen by
extensive use of lighting effects and shadow. Night scenes with
single-source lighting and long shadows were especially effective and

A Night on the Town (2002)

I find that shadows provide an outline of form, but to me
they are transient, vague and often hallucinatory. These qualities allow
the shadow to serve as metaphors for a range of dramatic feelings and
emotions. The ambiguity of the shadow is another critical element and one
reason they feature in my thoughts and creative work. 

Introspection (2006)

I lived in Europe for several years. European forests often have a gothic feel, a dark
brooding and mysterious quality which is incredibly enticing. The German
expressionists and film directors such as Hitchcock used this to great
atmospheric effect. 

Velocity (2008)

In many of my paintings I search for classic frames of
reference, often using forests as backdrops or street-lights to illuminate
critical elements in a scene. Those elements within the composition are
usually carefully constructed but almost always are based on one of many
spontaneous ink sketches I produce late at night. The use of shadows can
heighten both the perspective or depth of a scene and its mood. And not
infrequently, a shadow will take centre stage and provide the focal point
of a painting.

Heres Lookin' at You (2005)