Straight Down the (thin) Line

The line.

It’s strange. And thin too.

Coming of age in the mid 1970’s, I had heard her name. But she was one of those old movie stars. She was “in the pictures,” as my grandparents would say, that they watched. And those pictures were watched during the week, in the afternoon, or late at night as they lay in bed for the evening. I’d be wondering what to be when I grew up. Or if Linda would like me.

To me though, she was a star in name only. I don’t even remember seeing any of her films back then.

My first Barbara Stanwyck encounter was The File on Thelma Jordan, an underrated film noir from 1950. And I only watched that for the first time about five years ago. Since then, I’ve gone back and seen more of her acclaimed pictures. Not all, of course, but enough to realize that she earned the reputation.

She was a star.

Transition to:

(Right about here the rules say that I should include a mini biography of her life to sort of validate things. To show that I’ve put the time in. Done my homework. But I won’t because I’ve got excuses.

And then I’d follow that up with a review of Double Indemnity. Because that would be something new. With my own spin. But I won’t do that either).

Instead, I’ll let her do the walking. Because like her, “inside this stupid body…”




Why Noir, Part 2

Black film?

“No, film noir,” I was told. Not being much of a Francophile, I had to take their word for it.

But to me, it’s been more like gris.

And like so much of my own life (our lives?), I know now why.

“It’s grown-man’s music,” said Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones in an interview I’d heard awhile back. At the time, I was much younger and didn’t quite get his take on the blues. And neither could I make the connection between his words and my future journey into the cinematic gris.

That too I know now why.

A visual and audio punctuation mark answer to the question posed in the title might look and sound like this:

And it would make the point better than these words could ever do.