First of all, yes, it’s Monday. Didn’t want you to think anything was screwed up when you read the next line.
Ah, Friday! And not just any Friday, but the start of a meaningless weekend given a little lilt by the addition of one of my favorite shows, Bosch. Turn on the TV, make the Special Weekend Popcorn (proper kernels and oil, shaken in a brown paper bag, microwaved) and pick up the bluetooth headphones so I don’t bother anyone else in the house, and -
Gah. I tried taping it together, but several mission-critical screws had snapped, and it wouldn’t hold together. Well, let’s pair the AirPods to the TV for the evening.
(Ten minutes later)
SEARCHING . . .
SEARCHING . . .
SYSTEM HAS DETECTED IMMINENT HUMAN NEED
SYSTEM IS INDIFFERENT TO HUMAN NEEDS
Or words to that effect. I stood there pressing the proper button, holding the AirPods container at arm’s length as if that mattered, trying to will the devices to shake hands. But of course we’re not shaking hands anymore, are we? I ended up watching the show with one headphone loose, with my head cocked to the side like a confused dog to keep the loose earphone in place.
That was the exciting story from Friday! Let’s all take a moment to catch our breath. Saturday I put up the summertime gazebo lights. Step one: find them in the shed. Step two: plug them in. Step three: weep as each one lights up then goes dark. Huh. Why. I tested all the bulbs, then realized that there’s a fuse in each plug. Opened them up, found that each fuse had blown, but huzzah each plug had a replacement. Re-fuse, if that’s a word, then reseat all the bulbs. String them up. Looks nice. Next step: low-voltage lighting.
These assertions of spring rituals, boring as they are, seem like statements of defiance.
I’ve been reworking the interface for the 80s site - and I know, I know, you can’t stand the madcap excitement such a pronouncement implies. But I need a consistent interface for the 20th Century Project.
The . . . what?
Okay, fine, I don’t expect everyone to have the same top-down Olympian view of this site as I do. You come here, you hit the Bleat, maybe check the update, maybe note that there’s a pattern, how Wednesday is always something about something in the 20s, or the 30s, or whatever. But it’s part of MY LIFE’S WORK. As I may have noted before, the 80s is the hardest site, because the material is the most scanty, if that makes sense. It’s a strange dead zone. That’s another subject, though. What amuses me is the font choices, because what screams 80s is not what the 80s was. The Miami Vice typeface is an obvious choice for the main page, but really the Apple font of the time is more typical.
Yet this is how we think the 80s looked like, right?
That's an early version of the site, with videogame / VCR typefaces and Memphis-influenced graphics. As for the tagline, it's from this.
What we think characterized an era is usually only a sliver of what the era looked like. The advertising remnants displayed on the site don’t square at all with the reality I remember, just the projected aspirational reality - yet somehow I think that the ads of the 50s are practically documentaries. Hah! No.
Anyway, the 80s is done, so it's on to the 60s, which also needs to be standardized.
Hey, where are we headed?
A lost noir, a lost classic! Again, no. How about: Another cheap tidy little crime movie with all the basics, and if they just do them with the minimum skill, you got yourself a tidy little noir!
Where it starts:
IDMB says it was set at the Marcal theater. From Granola at Cinema Treasures, confirmation of that:
If this is the interior of the theater, it’s a nice piece of inadvertent documentary:
With movies like this, you can always hope for some inadvertent documentary. In this case, we’re lucky that the couple is eating at six restaurants in one evening:
Let’s test your famous restaurant IQ: what’s the one on the upper left?
Now let’s test your lileks.com IQ.
Then there’s this man: one of the most familiar actors of his day.
But it's for his voice, not his face.
The main heavy is a tiresome crime boss who refers to himself in the third person; his enforcer is a smooth strange guy named Stretch who makes a point of saying how much he hates dames.
He has a nice pad.
Plot-wise, it's all over the place. I liked tjhe the twisty part of the last third, which is full of interesting things like “killing off the guy we’ve spent most of the movie following, and doing it off-screen, and oh by the way it’s a suicide, and no one ever talks about it again.”
Herb Rau of The Miami News called the premise ridiculous and plot confused.
Can’t slam the dialogue, though. Hard-boiled!
Name of the movie! Drink!
One last thing: there’s a nightclub act.
Steve Gibson's Redcaps.
What the hell is the deal with these closing credits? Was the whole thing the dream of a farm boy?
That'll do. Now the last week of lock-down!
(Narrator: it was not, in fact, the last week.)