Cell at Eastern State

Cell at Eastern State

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bruce Noir at The Showroom in Asbury Park - UPDATE

On Friday, August 23rd, I'll be helping to kick off a weekend of classic films at the Showroom in Asbury Park. “BRUCE NOIR – Darkness, Films and Springsteen" is a celebration of the kinds of films that influenced Bruce Springsteen's music and occupy the same dark landscapes evoked in his songs.
Photo by Danny Clinch http://www.dannyclinch.com/
 Jersey crime writer (and committed Springsteen fan) Wallace Stroby will be hosting fantastic films all weekend at the beautiful new Showroom Cinema on Cookman Avenue just a few blocks from the boardwalk and The Stone Pony, the bar most associated with Springsteen's life and work. Wallace has been following Springsteen's career from the early days, and I can't wait to hear his take on how Springsteen's work reflects the noir aesthetic displayed in the films being screened.

As with crime fiction itself, there's no question about the deep exchange of influences between Springsteen and American film. He's spoken in interviews many times about favorite movies such as 70's action films Rolling Thunder, Cockfighter and Jackson County Line. Many of his songs have lyrics or titles that are loving tributes to his favorite movies, and his songs have gone on to inspire screenwriters and directors such as Sean Penn, John Sayles, Paul Schrader and Walter Hill.

On Friday the 23rd, I'll be joining Wallace (whose next Crissa Stone novel, Shoot the Woman First, will be released in December from Minotaur Books) to introduce and discuss Gun Crazy, the 1950 crime classic directed by Joseph H. Lewis and staring Peggy Cummins and John Dall. We'll kick off the evening at 7:30. Directions and details can be found at the Showroom's website. Following the film there will be a Skype interview with Peter Ames Carlin, author of Bruce, the Springsteen autobiography called 'definitive' by the Star Ledger. Wallace and Peter will discuss the themes and context of Bruce's most noir-inspired songs. 

Saturday the 24th will be the real treat for fans of classic film and Springsteen's music. Terrence Malick's dreamlike Badlands will show at 1:00pm, followed at 4:00 by the timeless Jacques Tourneur's classic Out of the Past with Robert Mitchum at his best. After that film, photographer Mark Krajnak will discuss how both Springsteen's music and Mark's own love of film noir have helped influence his work. At 7:30 is the dark but lyrical Atlantic City (a movie that never fails to remind me of my own family and its Jersey connections) and finishing up with another side of Mitchum in Thunder Road, from 1958.

I hope you'll all be able to come out and enjoy a weekend of excellent cinema and fascinating discussion. Please visit the Showroom Cinema's website to get updated information on ticketing and any last minute changes in the schedule. The Showroom is at 707 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ, 07712. The phone number is (732) 502 0472. 

 UPDATE - If you're coming to Bruce Noir - follow this link to Wallace Stroby's blog to get a printable 20% discount coupon you can bring to the box office. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Noir at the Bar Returns!

"Noir at the Bar" has become an international phenomenon but it started right here in the Delaware Valley. The premise is simple: Crime fiction writers read and answer questions at a good (or wonderfully divey) bar, because while we all love a good bookstore, not many serve 12-year-old Irish Whiskey. Gritty noir and booze are natural allies on the page, the screen and at the end of a working day. The event began in Philadelphia under the direction of Peter Rozovsky and spread from there. St. Louis and Los Angeles picked up the tradition and now host the two largest Noir at the Bar events in the country. Peter Rozovsky and I decided that the East Coast needed representation again and called Farley's Bookstore to see if they'd be interested in resurrecting the original Noir at the Bar format. They couldn't say no.  John and Peter's in New Hope, Pennsylvania graciously gave us the space to hold the event and Peter, William Hastings and the great crew at Farley's set to work lining up talent. May 23rd will mark the re-launch of the Philadelphia area Noir at the Bar series, hosted by Farley's Bookshop, John & Peter's and carefully guided by Noir at the bar founder Peter Rozovsky.

The night's two featured readers will be Asbury Park's Wallace Stroby and yours truly. There are some special guest readers in the works, including Don Lafferty and others whose names will remain secret until the 23rd at 9pm. Wallace is the author of hard-bitten Jersey crime classics like Kings of Midnight, Gone 'Til November and The Barbed Wire Kiss, and his new series featuring tough-as-nails armed robber Crissa Stone is in development at Showtime with Ted Talley, the screenwriter of Silence of the Lambs. Wallace knows crime, having been an editor for thirteen years at the Newark Star-Ledger, Tony Soprano's hometown newspaper.

Come down and join all of us for a great evening of good drinks and great fiction on Thursday, May 23rd. John and Peter's is at 96 South Main Street in New Hope and the event begins at 9:00pm.