Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Max Allan Collins, Jake Hinkson, Chris Morgan

Quarry Set 2013

Max Allan Collins' great Quarry series may be coming to TV. Right now a pilot is filming and both Al (Max) and Barb Collins are there and obviously having a great time.

Virtually everyone we met on set was great. The crew is a friendly, hardworking bunch from four states – California, Mississippi, Tennessee and (I think) Louisiana…though it may be Arkansas. I immediately got hugs from both director John Hillcoat (LAWLESS) and a particularly warm one from director of photography Javier Aguirresarobe when I complimented him on his terrific work on WARM BODIES. Producer David Kanter of Anonymous was essentially our tour guide, a warm and friendly one at that. But best of all was getting to know and really talk Quarry with writers Michael D. Fuller and Graham Gordy (both of RECTIFIED). Before going to set, I delivered to their trailer complete sets of the first editions of the original 1970s Quarry paperbacks THE BROKER, THE BROKER’S WIFE, THE DEALER and THE SLASHER. I don’t have many of these left, and Michael and Graham were like fanboys reacting to receiving them. These are smart, talented guys who know the Quarry series inside out. I’m very lucky to have them (as they put it) “playing in my sandbox.”

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Fine writer Jake Hinkson who shines as both a noir novelist and an essayist on all things noir is interviewed at All Things Read.

What kick started your love affair with all things noir?
I think you fall in love with noir because you have a noir disposition. I can tell you that I bought the 1950 Edmond O’Brien film noir DOA out of a Walmart bargain bin when I was still in junior high school, but I can’t tell you why. The plot—a man discovers that he’s been fatally poisoned and then sets out in a desperate race against time to find his own murderer—appealed to some pre-existing sense of pulp fatalism that was already in me.


In the current issue of The Los Angeles Review of Books Chris Morgan writes  a stunning overview of Gil Brewer's work and makes some controversial assessments along the way.

Ultimately, parsing Brewer’s republished works suggests there is a place for him in noir’s tumultuous, barroom-style Valhalla. He certainly seems to surpass Cornell Woolrich, who was the King of obscure noir but also one of the genre’s most flawed writers. Woolrich’s writing was convoluted and sloppy, his plots not only defying logic but insulting it. He also had a true genius for the mixed and awkward metaphor (“His heart was frothing like an eggbeater.”). By contrast, Brewer’s own slapdash work habits seem vindicated. His plots were as involved as they needed to be but not over-the-top (aside from the cases, such as in Devil, in which his tongue was planted in cheek). His style was lean and hard, meeting Swift’s dictum of putting “proper words in their proper places.” And he was able to make his mixed metaphors sing a little (“The air was knife-cold.”). Yet Woolrich remains a standard-bearer for the genre as a whole, even if some people aren’t willing to grant him the status of a Cain, Chandler, or Hammett.

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1 comment:

Kelly Robinson said...

Cool news. Hope this really makes it to TV.