Film

Dark Brink of Love

nwr

I guest edited the noir volume of Nicolas Winding Refn’s byNWR.com. The title of the volume is DARK BRINK OF LOVE.

The first of three chapters is now live. Usually you need to create an account to see content on the site (it’s free and easy), but they’ve made this volume available to everyone, no log-in required.

Here are the contents:

First off, there’s the film: STARK FEAR from 1962. Made by two University of Oklahoma professors, Ned Hockman and Dwight V. Swain, it’s a psychological horror noir set and filmed in and around Oklahoma City and Norman. It stars Beverly Garland and Skip Homeier. The first time I saw it was on a very rough public domain copy–it’s been beautifully restored by Peter Conheim. It’s a weird, unsettling, dangerous-feeling picture. Watch it here.

In “Derrick Noir: Okies Go Hollywood,” Philippe Garnier introduces STARK FEAR, showing how the pieces came together on this singularly twisted curiosity. Read his intro to the film here.

In “The Planet Murderer,” Chris Offutt considers how his father Andrew Offutt, a prolific writer of porn novels, crossed paths with STARK FEAR scribe Dwight V. Swain, in the process meditating on literary heritage and the blood that runs from fathers to sons. Chris has allowed us to use some incredible photos of his dad, and there are also many book covers from John Cleve (Andrew Offutt’s alias). Read it here.

“‘Why’d You Go, Daddy? Was I Bad?'” is a stunning story from the author of BUCKSKIN COCAINE, Erika T. Wurth​. Wurth imagines what it might have been like for Cortez Ewing, the Native American actor who plays “The Chief” in STARK FEAR. Accompanying the piece are James Mooney’s Ghost Dance Recordings and a selection of noir-infused public domain photos. Read it here.

J David Osborne​, author of BLACK GUM, A MINOR STORM, and BLOOD AND WATER, gives us “Oklahoma: Heartland, U.S.A.,” inspired by the title of a tourism ad by Swain and Hockman. It’s head trip noir story about his Oklahoma fifty years after STARK FEAR, populated by a new variety of desperate people on the ropes: juggalos, small-time crooks, and searchers. Also accompanied by some weird, noir public domain photos. Read it here.

Gabino Iglesias​, author of ZERO SAINTS and COYOTE SONGS, in a story and photo series, delivers a motel noir infused with paranoia and destruction and inspired by the shadowy locations of STARK FEAR. Read/view “Stark Raving Mad” here.

There’s a bunch of stuff from me and Tyler Keith​:
1. I wrote a speculative memoir from the point of view of former child star Skip Homeier, “The Bad Husband.” Read it here.
2. I wrote a long story, “Cruising the El Nora,” inspired by the El Nora Motel, a key location in STARK FEAR. It includes original photos from Tyler Keith. Read/view here.
3. I read “Cruising the El Nora” with an original score from Tyler Keith. Listen here.
4. I interview Tyler Keith about writing noir songs, growing up in the Christ-haunted south, and touring in punk bands, and he plays a handful of songs live in the studio. Listen here.
5. I read a sci-fi story by Dwight V. Swain. It features a nudist camp, x-ray glasses, Nazi secret agents, and goatees that “jerk with contempt.” Listen here.

Also, a couple of byNWR mainstays:
Charlie Beesley helps us discover his Discarded America.
Peter Conheim brings us more tales from the Restoration benches.

If you missed my volume intro, here it is.

And I made a playlist on Spotify for the volume.

That’s a lot. Sorry. This is a project I’ve been working on for about a year, and I’m glad it’s finally out there. Thanks to the amazing contributors. Thanks to James Banks, Jules Holland, and everyone at Bureau in the UK. Thanks especially to the minds behind byNWR: Jimmy McDonough and Nicolas Winding Refn. If you want to get a peek behind the curtains of byNWR, check out this piece in The Quietus.

One more quick note:
-Chapter 2 of DARK BRINK OF LOVE will go live on April 1st. It features contributions from Ace Atkins, Laura Lee Bahr, Violet LeVoit, and Theresa Starkey.
-Chapter 3 will go live on May 1st. It features contributions from Sarah Weinman, Scott Adlerberg​, Marya E. Gates, and Jack Pendarvis.

Thanks for reading.
You are now entering the Dark Brink of Love…

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Film

My Favorite Movies of 2019

My favorite movies of the year so far… still lots to catch up on.

1. THE IRISHMAN (Martin Scorsese)

2. UNCUT GEMS (The Safdie Brothers)

3. THE SOUVENIR (Joanna Hogg)

4. HIGH LIFE (Claire Denis)

5. LITTLE WOMEN (Greta Gerwig)

6. A HIDDEN LIFE (Terrence Malick)

7. TRANSIT (Christian Petzold)

8. HOTEL BY THE RIVER (Hong Sang-soo)

9. ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD (Quentin Tarantino)

10. HER SMELL (Alex Ross Perry)

Others I really liked:

PETERLOO (Mike Leigh); ROLLING THUNDER REVUE (Martin Scorsese); ASH IS PUREST WHITE (Jia Zhangke); KNIVES OUT (Rian Johnson); GRASS (Hong sang-soo); OUT OF BLUE (Carol Morley); BURNING CANE (Philip Michael Youmans); SWORD OF TRUST (Lynn Shelton); MARRIAGE STORY (Noah Baumbach); RICHARD JEWELL (Clint Eastwood); US (Jordan Peele); WILD ROSE (Tom Harper); DOLEMITE IS MY NAME (Craig Brewer); DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE (S. Craig Zahler); KNIFE + HEART (Yann Gonzalez); DOMINO (Brian De Palma); BETWEEN WORLDS (Maria Pulera); STATE LIKE SLEEP (Meredith Danluck); HIGH FLYING BIRD (Steven Soderbergh); PADDLETON (Alexandre Lehmann); THE KID (Vincent D’Onofrio)

Favorite performances:

Elisabeth Moss, HER SMELL; Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, and Robert De Niro, THE IRISHMAN; Adam Sandler and Julia Fox, UNCUT GEMS; Honor Swinton Byrne and Tom Burke, THE SOUVENIR; Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche, HIGH LIFE; Paul Walter Hauser, RICHARD JEWELL; Jessie Buckley, WILD ROSE; Ray Romano, PADDLETON; Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD; Da’Vine Joy Randolph, DOLEMITE IS MY NAME; Wendell Pierce, BURNING CANE; Lupita Nyong’o, US; Ana de Armas, KNIVES OUT; Kim Min-hee, HOTEL BY THE RIVER; Paula Beer, TRANSIT; Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper, and Bob Odenkirk, LITTLE WOMEN; Ethan Hawke, THE KID; Zhao Tao, ASH IS PUREST WHITE

Still need to see & very excited about:

AD ASTRA

CLEMENCY

CHAINED FOR LIFE

THE FAREWELL

THE NIGHTINGALE

DIAMANTINO

INVISIBLE LIFE

PAIN AND GLORY

THE DEAD DON’T DIE

WAVES

BLACK MOTHER

THE BEACH BUM

PARASITE

FORD V. FERRARI

BOOKSMART

JOJO RABBIT

THE STANDOFF AT SPARROW CREEK

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN

HUSTLERS

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT

THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN

LITTLE WOODS

THE LIGHTHOUSE

MIDSOMMAR

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO

PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

DIANE

DARK WATERS

ATLANTICS

COLOR OUT OF SPACE

HOBBS & SHAW

CRAWL

JOHN WICK C3

WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE

HONEY BOY

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Film

1999

Been thinking about 1999 for a lot of reasons. What a year for movies. Here’s a list of my favorites from ’99, as well as a list of my favorites from ’99 in ’19. Some crossover. Lots I was disappointed by in ’99 that I love now (Eyes Wide Shut, Bringing Out the Dead, and Magnolia) and some I just hadn’t seen then. Lots I liked in ’99 that I don’t like now. Lots I haven’t revisited or given much thought to. Lots I still need to see and/or revisit.

My favorite movies of 1999 in 1999:
Ghost Dog
The Straight Story
The Limey
Three Kings
eXistenZ
Being John Malcovich
Ravenous
Office Space
The Blair Witch Project
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Princess Mononoke
The End of the Affair
Topsy-Turvy
Sweet and Lowdown
Jesus’ Son
Cookie’s Fortune
The Ninth Gate
Girl, Interrupted
Election
The Virgin Suicides
Boys Don’t Cry
The Cider House Rules
But I’m a Cheerleader
Man on the Moon
Sleepy Hollow
Ride with the Devil
American Movie
Dogma
GalaxyQuest
Mystery Men
Payback
Run Lola Run
A Walk on the Moon
For Love of the Game


My favorite movies of 1999 in 2019
:
The Virgin Suicides
Ratcatcher
Bringing Out the Dead
Eyes Wide Shut
Ghost Dog
The Straight Story
The Limey
The Insider
Limbo
Magnolia
Rosetta
The Florentine
eXistenZ
Topsy-Turvy
Felicia’s Journey
Ravenous
Princess Mononoke
Cookie’s Fortune
The Matrix
Office Space
Being John Malcovich
The Iron Giant
Election
The Sixth Sense
The End of the Affair

American Movie

Notable movies left off: American Beauty, which was always terrible & is even more terrible now; Toy Story 2, which I’ve only seen in the last few years and is fine.


Need to watch/rewatch:
Time Regained
Titus
Life
To the Mission
Bowfinger
Summer of Sam
All About My Mother
Beau Travail
Julien Donkey-Boy
Wisconsin Death Trip
Holy Smoke
The Muse
The Loss of Sexual Innocence
8mm
Any Given Sunday
Audition
Wonderland
The Wood
10 Things I Hate About You
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Following
The 13th Floor
A Moment of Innocence
The Dreamlife of Angels
The Wind Will Carry Us
Humanité
The Green Mile
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