Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The new The Killer Inside Me

Ed here: Charles McGarth has a notably wise take on the new version of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me. He also includes an interview with Bertrand Tavernier who did the finest Thompson film of all "Pop. 1280." This is Celine without the self-pity and kvetching.

Like many Thompson novels “The Killer Inside Me” is told in the first person, and the reader eventually discovers that Lou is himself dead: he’s speaking to the reader from beyond the grave, as it were, and his narrative voice is as seductive and elusive as the one he uses to sweet-talk his victims. How can we believe a word he says? Robert Polito, Thompson’s biographer, explained in an interview: “Thompson isn’t like the writers he’s often compared to. He’s not like Hammett, Chandler, Cain. The books aren’t realistic. They’re much closer to phantasmagoria.”

Mr. Tavernier suggested recently that one reason Europeans make better Thompson movies is that they regard him as a serious, literary author, not just a pulp writer. Speaking from Cannes, where he was promoting his new film, “La Princesse de Montpensier,” he said: “There’s a metaphysical element in Thompson, and Americans always leave that out. They take out everything that makes the books great: the dialogue, the great humor. I see him more as a writer like Alfred Jarry, Henry Miller, Celine.”

He also complained about the two movie versions of “The Getaway,” and said about the portion of the book that had been cut, “You could make a very interesting film just from that part alone.”

For the rest go here:



Steve Oerkfitz said...

Both The Grifters and After Dark, My Sweet are very good film versions of Thompson novels.

Todd Mason said...

Pity about THE GETAWAYs and THIS WORKD, AND THEN THE FIREWORKS, though. There's a Whole Hell of a Lot of Serious, Lierary Writers Who Also Wrote for Pulps, of course. Of whom, I don't think Thompson was among them...unless, of course, Fawcett Gold Medal paperbacks were pulps. Because words never mean anything.