Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jack Taylor – Ken Bruen – The Guards- TV Pilot On: TV3


JACK TAYLOR LIVES!
SEE IT ON AUGUST 2ND!

DRAMA: Jack Taylor – Ken Bruen – The Guards- TV Pilot
On: TV3
Date: Monday 2nd August 2010
Time: 21:00 to 22:45 (1 hour and 45 minutes long)
This exciting feature length Tv movie premiere is the first in a series of Jack Taylor novels brought to the screen by Magma Productions. It follows the exploits of tough ex cop Jack Taylor, played brilliantly by renowned Scottish actor Iain Glen (Law and Order, Tara Road and Resident Evil). When Jack is asked to find a distraught mother’s missing daughter, he uncovers the seedy underbelly of Galway City. Adding to his woes, an old friend dies under mysterious circumstances, everything Jack believes in begins to unravel making him question even those closest to him.
Promo video previews below.  Note: If you have a slow internet connection once video starts to play press pause to allow full video to download so you can watch without interruption.

Click on picture to get to video clip!





Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Alphabetical Listing of NoirCon 2010 Panelists. Will you be there?

  





PANELIST PANEL


Abbot, Megan                        THROUGH A REAR-VIEW DARKLY
Abbott, Patti DAMN NEAR DEAD  2  (Busted Flush Press)
Anastasia, George SORTING OUT THE SYNDICATE
Anthony, Meredith PHILADELPHIA NOIR  (Akashic Press)
Ashley, Cameron WRITERS ON NOIR

Benoit, Charles MASTER  OF CEREMONIES
Boyle, William                       LAST CALL PANEL
Buntin, John SORTING OUT THE SYNDICATE

Case, Jarred DARK PASSAGE (THE MOVIE BY DAVID GOODIS)
Carcattera, Lorenzo WRITERS ON NOIR
Cohen, Jeff A. REALITY AND NOIR
Coleman, Reed F. WRITERS ON NOIR
Corbett, David WRITERS ON NOIR
Cupp,  Scott DAMN NEAR DEAD  2  (Busted Flush Press)

Edwards, Rich PATRICIA HIGHSMITH AT THE MOVIES

Faust, Christa THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT
Forrest, E.B.                         DARK PASSAGE: NOIR POETRY

Gertzman, Jay THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT
Gilman, Keith                       PHILADELPHIA NOIR  (Akashic Press)

Heffernan, William                IACW LUNCHEON
Hendricks, Vicki WRITERS ON NOIR
Hoffman, Daniel DARK PASSAGE: NOIR POETRY

Jones, Meredith PHILADELPHIA NOIR  (Akashic Press)

Kaufman, Thomas PATRICIA HIGHSMITH AT THE MOVIES

Lafferty, Don NOIR - GAY BINGO
Lashner, William LAST CALL
Light, Lawrence LAST CALL
Lippman, Laura  GEORGE PELECANOS WITH LAURA LIPPMAN

Mayberry, Jonathan NOIR - GAY BINGO
McGoran, Jon LAST CALL/ NOIR - GAY BINGO
McLoughlin, Tim JOHNNY TEMPLE (AWARD) DINNER

Pelecanos, George WINNER OF THE DAVID LOEB GOODIS AWARD
Pettit, Ed DARK PASSAGE: NOIR POETRY
Phillips, Scott DAMN NEAR DEAD  2  (Busted Flush Press)
Polito, Robert DARK PASSAGE: NOIR POETRY

Rodman, Howard FANTOMAS AT 99 - THE LORD OF TERROR
Romano, Carlin PHILADELPHIA NOIR  (Akashic Press)
Rozan, SJ DAMN NEAR DEAD  2  (Busted Flush Press)

Sand, Richard REALITY AND NOIR
Schenkar, Joan KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Simmons, Kelly                  NOIR - GAY  BINGO
Smith, Neil A. THROUGH A REAR-VIEW DARKLY
Strunk, Keith NOIR - GAY BINGO
Stroby, Wallace REALITY AND NOIR
Swiercznski, Duane  PHILADELPHIA NOIR  (Akashic Press)

Tafoya, Dennis PHILADELPHIA NOIR  (Akashic Press)
Temple, Johnny WINNER OF THE JAY AND DEEN KOGAN AWARD
Thompson, David JOHNNY TEMPLE WITH DAVID THOMPSON

Weinman, Sarah GEORGE PELECANOS (AWARD) DINNER
White, David FANTOMAS AT 99 - THE LORD OF TERROR
Withers, Larry DAVID GOODIS: TO A PULP (THE DOCUMENTARY)
Woodrell, Daniel WRITERS ON NOIR

Zervanos, Jeff PHILADELPHIA NOIR  (Akashic Press)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

PAGE TO SCREEN: “London Boulevard” by Ken Bruen

From IN CONTENTION.com by Guy Lodge





A short, sharp, deliciously black-hearted thriller that reads not unlike a readymade screenplay in its brisk, dialogue-dominated prose, Bruen’s novel makes its debt to Hollywood clear not only in its construction (brief, propulsive chapters of only a couple pages’ length resemble individual cinematic scenes) and its assorted winking namechecks of bygone films and stars, but in its very conception.
The title – not a location (locals will know that there is no London Boulevard in the British capital) but a metaphor of sorts – is our first clue to what Bruen is up to: the novel is itself an adaptation, and Billy Wilder’s gothic Hollywood noir “Sunset Boulevard” is the source material.
The novel’s allusions to the 1950 classic aren’t exactly subtle. Where Wilder’s film gave us Joseph C. Gillis, a destitute L.A. screenwriter who seeks shelter in the mansion of faded movie goddess Norma Desmond to escape the repo man, “London Boulevard” crosses the Channel, jumps a half-century forward, and replaces Gillis with Mitchell, a middle-aged ex-con who dodges the ghosts of his past (and his own compulsive criminal urges) by shacking up in the plush Holland Park pad of Lillian Palmer, a washed-up theater diva plotting her triumphant West End return.
If this all threatens to drift into smug, self-amusing pastiche, however, the surrounding narrative context of Mitchell’s bloody criminal misadventures bears little relationship to Wilder’s film (and a lot more resemblance to hard-boiled revenge thrillers like the namechecked “Point Blank”), ensuring “London Boulevard” a hybrid identity of its own. Bruen details the South London gangster racket that repeatedly ensnares Mitchell with brutal verbal wit, keen geographic specificity and violence that startles even on the page: it’ll be interesting to see whether Monahan’s film similarly dares to show its protagonist shooting a teenaged boy in the kneecaps.
Between its tight, tidy narrative, whip-crack dialogue and inbuilt cinematic reference scheme, then, “London Boulevard” would appear to be an entirely self-assembling adaptation prospect. Monahan, however, clearly has some other ideas, beginning with one curious stroke of casting that takes the material far from its fun“Sunset Boulevard” mirror-games – and I can’t help wondering whether or not he’s missed a trick.
Colin Farrell certainly isn’t the problem. 45, heavyset and decidedly unlike William Holden, the Mitchell of the novel suggests more of a Ray Winstone type (Winstone, ironically enough, will appear elsewhere as Gant, Mitchell’s dapper employer turned enemy). But the ample contrasts in the character of a well-read, Trisha Yearwood-loving thug should allow Farrell to work the same scuzzy charisma and bruised defiance that served him so well in Martin McDonagh’s “In Bruges.” (Indeed, between the films’ mutual leading man and the occasional similarities between Bruen and McDonagh’s respective of arch, Irish gallows humor, comparisons to McDonagh’s well-liked 2008 debut seem likely.)
The supporting cast looks dandy, too: if Monahan remains consistent with the novel’s characterizations, David Thewlis should ham it up righteously in Erich von Stroheim’s shoes as the debonair but lethal Jordan, while Anna Friel (best known to American audiences for her turn in TV’s “Pushing Daisies”) will hopefully find the mournful humor in Mitchell’s tragically dippy kid sister Briony. (On the page, there would appear to be less for the likes of Eddie Marsan and Ben Chaplin to do, but Bruen lets no walk-on character escape without a pithy line or two.)
My puzzlement and slight intrigue sets in when it comes to the casting of Lillian, the the film’s own Gloria Swanson. While reading the book, the mind feasts on the juicy opportunity available to assorted grandes dames of British film and theater, varying in age from Kristin Scott Thomas to Judi Dench. (Given her history with Colin Farrell, Eileen Atkins would have been a wicked in-joke choice.)
In his most externally obvious departure from the novel, however, the filmmakers have shattered the “Sunset Boulevard” template by reducing the character’s age by over three decades, and giving the role to Keira Knightley – not a little ironic, given the earlier film’s concern with Hollywood ageism. (The film’s synopsis still describes the character, renamed Charlotte, as a “reclusive actress,” though her youth brings question marks that I suppose could have psychologically interesting answers.)
The de-ageing of both lead characters would appear to take the film into less transgressively romantic genre territory than either the novel or its cinematic inspiration, but without having read Monahan’s screenplay, it’s difficult to gauge the wisdom of this decision. One would like to think it’s a grounded interpretive change rather than a mere concession to bankability, but fans of the novel may well wonder what might have been.
Putting this issue to one side, a crisp, crackling and pleasingly eccentric gangster outing should still await us. His sparky screenplay for “The Departed” suggests he could be the man for the job, but Monahan shouldn’t feel the need to take too many liberties with the jazzy rhythms of Bruen’s dialogue, with its often hilariously off-color asides and brainy non-sequiturs. Meanwhile, Monahan’s ace team of collaborators – including veteran DP Chris Menges and “Memento” editor Dody Dorn – promise a slick, grade-A vehicle, though not, ideally, one so palatable as to obscure the playfully nasty streak running through this terrific source novel, or the shadow of Billy Wilder behind it.


Bruen does the Wild West in EQMM by Cullen Gallagher



Ken Bruen, that elegant bard of noir hailing from Ireland, takes on the Wild West in his latest story, “Colt.” It appears in the August 2010 issue of Ellery Queen Magazine. In just six short pages, Bruen manages to pack in all that we love about his work—the personal tragedies of Tower (co-written with Reed Farrel Coleman), the inimitable punchy poetry of The Guards, and the gut-busting humor ofBust, Slide, and The Max (all co-written with Jason Starr)—but he also manages to show a new side to his art as well. Bruen is damn good at Westerns! It's funny, action-packed, and packs a solid punch at the end, and I can't recommend it highly enough.


“I had me a thirst, been riding hard, real hard, to get way the hell outa Arizona, they wanted me real bad in that godforsaken place

“The why is a whole other yarn and I ain’t gonna bother you none with that hokum now


“Doggone no.


“This here is about a gal


“Ain’t it always?”


The story is about a wandering gunman who learns the hard way why you keep you mouth shut at the bar. In between shots of whiskey he hears of an impending hanging that has everyone in town excited. Why, you ask? Because it isn’t just any old criminal at the end of the rope, it is a woman. And just who is that woman…someone from the gunman’s past that he can’t get out of his mind.



AUGUST 2010 cannot get here soon enough!




Monday, July 12, 2010

Goodisville - Hong Kong Style! The Walled City Kowloon



(image credit: Michael Wolf)
Here, prostitutes installed themselves on one side of the street, while a priest preached and handed out powdered milk to the poor on the other; social workers gave guidance, while drug addicts squatted under the stairs getting high; what were children's games centres by day became strip show venues by night. It was a very complex place, difficult to generalise about, a place that seemed frightening but where most people continued to lead normal lives. A place just like the rest of Hong Kong.
—Leung Ping Kwan, City of Darkness, p. 120



The Walled City of Kowloon has no visible wall around it, but it is as clearly defined as if there were one made of hard, high steel. It is instantly sensed by the congested open market that runs along the street in front of the row of dark run-down flats—shacks haphazardly perched on top of one another giving the impression that at any moment the entire blighted complex will collapse under its own weight, leaving nothing but rubble where elevated rubble had stood.Robert LudlumThe Bourne Supremacy, p. 149




Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"BLACK is the new Noir!" Al Guthrie

To the uninitiated,  TONY BLACK is a writer not to be missed.  Check out this riveting, irreverent and incredibly visceral discussion about his latest book LONG TIME DEAD and the accompanying music video starring Tony in MY FATHER'S COAT.  

















"One adrenalin-pumped novel... the narrative blasts off the page like a triple malt."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lavelle on Bruen. It don't get no better than this!


Ken Bruen

With a staggering number of successful works behind him, Ken Bruen’s accomplishments would make any novelist just a little more than envious. But for Ken, it’s all about his next chapter, his next book. He talks to Jo Lavelle about his recent successes and where to now.
A down-to-earth and charming man, Ken’s humble nature means he rarely bigs himself up. But having 28 novels behind him, and having just signed the deal on the filming of 11 of his movies here in Galway City over the next 11 years, he is one of Galway’s most valuable ambassadors.
Meanwhile, the filming of his novel London Boulevard has just been completed, with an all-star cast of Kiera Knightly, Colin Farrell, Anna Friel and Ray Winstone. A recent feature in Empire Magazine has dubbed it the “gangster movie of the year”.
It came about after Academy Award-Winner William Monahan, the man behind The Departed and Body of Lies called Ken up one day saying he’d read his novel, loved it, and wanted to direct, produce and write the screenplay for it. “I almost fell off my chair when I heard Bill on the line. Then I heard who the cast was; it was just after ‘In Bruges’, which I think is a brilliant masterpiece. I thought Colin Farrell’s on top of his game and that’s just really lucky. And there isn’t a guy on the planet who’s going to object to Kiera Knightly. But they’ve deliberately kept it all low-key.”
You’d imagine that the excitement of being whisked around the world to glittering high profile events in LA, New York, Japan and Europe would put a stop to his work for a while, but Ken’s not one to fall for the fantasy. “I make the time to write no matter what’s going on. If I’m on tour, I just say, there’s three or four hours I have to have by myself. It’s very easy to get out of the habit. And it’s a great break for me to write, and it also stops me buying into the hype, thinking, ‘Here I am in LA, and I’m really shit hot’, or something. It stops all of that nonsense. And I say to myself, you’d better produce the goods, because this is what got you to here and if you want to keep doing it, you’ll want to keep producing. And there’s so many writers out there, you just have to keep going.”
Having just finished number ten in his critically acclaimed Jack Taylor series, there are no plans to call a halt just yet. “As soon as it gets stale, it will finish and God knows I’ll know. As soon as it sounds as same old same, same old thing, then I’ll stop. I did that with the English series, I stopped on book seven.” A self-confessed failed actor, Ken actually played a priest in Blitz, the film based on the book of the same name from the English series. “I spent a week administering my priestly functions to Jason Statham. It was just crazy; I loved it.”
Ken was 17 when he got accepted to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, but his father’s lack of approval, which he admits he craved after all his life, sent him in the direction of college. “I always had ambitions to be an actor. I think that’s why I became an English language teacher. They say the best English language teachers are failed actors.” When he finally got a chance to act in a couple of Roger Colman movies about seven years ago, he realised that his failed actor status was for a good reason. “When I watched the movies back on DVD, I realised I was the worst actor I ever saw in my life – awful. I even showed the movies to my friends, everyone came around to the house, and they all went, ‘Jesus, you’re brutal; you’re just so bad.’ My friends don’t pull any stops. They’re Irish, they don’t build you up.”
Ken Bruen with his daughter Grace
If Ken Bruen ever had reason to suffer from the beast of writer’s doubt, that slate should be wiped clean with his latest success. A special nod could also be made to the first agent he ever had at Curtis Brown who told him he’d never be anything but a cult writer. “I believed her. She said the way you write and the kind of stuff you write, there’s never going to be a huge market for it. So make sure you stay teaching. She was in the business she knew. In my wildest dreams, I never believed that a film would be made of my works.” Makes the signing of the deal for 11 Jack Taylor Movies in the next decade (which incidentally he fought to have filmed in Galway), even more sweet no doubt.
The first movie of the series called ‘Jack Taylor’, will be shown in September. His fourth film to come from his novels – ‘The King of the Tinkers’ starts shooting this month, and a movie is currently in the pipeline from his first kids’ book, ‘Peter and his Magic Pencil’.
And to add a few more accolades to Galway’s most successful modern writer, he has been nominated for a number of prestigious awards in recent months. There’s the ‘Best Crime Novel of the Decade’ Barry Awards 2010 for ‘The Guards’, where he’s up against Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. ‘Tower’ is also up for three other international awards at the moment.
So what now? “Someone recently asked me if I was going to retire, leave Galway, and I just thought, Are you crazy? What else am I going to do? My family’s here, all my friends are here. I can move around and nobody bothers me. It hasn’t changed my life this far, and I don’t think it’s going to change it now. I have too many friends who would bring me down to earth and if I ever got a notion in my head, they’d quickly rid me of that. And if it all stopped in the morning, well certainly I’ve had a great run, I’ve enjoyed it, and boy have I been lucky.”