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AnnA: New Neo-Noir Short from Britain

AnnA AnnA: New Neo Noir Short from Britain

Two very talented film-makers from the UK, Robin Hudson and Stuart Albone, have recently released a compelling neo-noir short titled AnnA. Filmed on location in Brighton and London, the elliptical story centers on a young night-club singer and her descent into a real or imagined crisis. In some ways the scenario is reminiscent of the dream imagery in Maya Deren’s classic short Meshes of the Afternoon (1943).

The production values are very impressive, with all round solid direction, photography, and editing. Some neat technical work has been deftly done, and a minimalist score works well too. An interesting and sexy protagonist with the nice use of voice-over draws you in, and the mystery keeps you interested.

Here is the YouTube video. Highly recommended.

0 AnnA: New Neo Noir Short from Britain
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Since My Baby’s Gone: New neo-noir short from Ray Ottulich

sincemybabysgone Since My Babys Gone: New neo noir short from Ray Ottulich

Ray Ottulich has released on Vimeo and YouTube a new neo-noir short in his series riffing on familiar themes and motifs from film noir titled Since My Baby’s Gone about the perils of giving lifts to dangerous dames. The scenario is a nod to the cult noir Detour and was filmed on the road way out West. Ray has done a really fine job of editing which gives the movie a nice rhythm, making the visuals particularly compelling. Here is the Vimeo video. Enjoy.

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Noir Beat: Just ramblin’ and a new neo-noir short

killers sight Noir Beat: Just ramblin’ and a new neo noir short

New neo-noir short ‘Killer’s Sight’

I have kept still long enough to pen this missive from the dark side.  The older you get the less you are satisfied, and the more impatient you become with that closing window of time. An urgency takes hold that counters lethargy yet perversely also saps commitment. Who cares if I do or don’t post?

Jim Morrison at a Doors concert at the dying end of the 60s surmised to the cheers of a young raucous audience, “I don’t know what’s gonna happen man, but I’m gonna get my kicks before the whole shithouse burns down.”  Did he? Did we? Get our kicks. As for the final cataclysm, the odds haven’t lengthened. An old man once told me, life doesn’t bear too much thinking about. He was right.

In this dystopian groove, here are some shots of filmic angst.

House of Bamboo (1955) A weak Sam Fuller effort that, for some reason known only to the cosmos, was made in wide-screen Technicolor and in Japan. A sort of dark The World of Suzie Wong.  Robert Stack goes undercover to infiltrate a mob of American hoods headed by Robert Ryan, and not a Yakuza in sight. Muddled and borderline boring. Some see a homoerotic subtext.

New Orleans Undercover (1955) B-auteur William Castle helms an interesting 50s-style police procedural with Arthur Franz (The Sniper) as a docker who goes undercover to break union racketeering on the New Orleans waterfront. An intelligent script explores thwarted ambition among working men who have few options.  The dénouement is like that of many b’s – underwhelming – sort of like “Hey! we only have three minutes of film left, end it!”

New York Confidential (1955) A totally weird look at the Mob all-in-the-family melodrama with mob-boss Broderick Crawford totally without irony railing against corrupt politicians – “lousy crooks” – while fellow-mobster J. Carroll Naish munches on a salami on rye sandwich and a pickle. Richard Conte’s usual woodenness strangely works well for him as a hit-man with a heart – you have to dig deep. But a young Anne Bancroft steals the show as Crawford’s rebellious daughter, adding some sorely needed depth. Totally subversive with Conte’s demise having a certain pathos.

Cutting to the here and now, a young Italian film-maker, Antonio La Camera, has just released on Vimeo a 6 minute neo-noir short made on a zero-budget titled Killer’s Sight. The production values are surprisingly high, and the mise-en-scène impressive.  Antonio has done a nice job on the lighting which is very noir, as with the cinematography and the editing. Effective use of Gershwin over the opening credits is also noteworthy. Interest is sustained to the last frame. Definitely worth a look – be sure to follow the Vimeo link after viewing here to read Antonio’s notes on the film.

 

 

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Loanshark – Montana Noir (2013): Dark nights in the dives and railway yards of big sky country

Ray Ottulich (alias ‘Cigar Joe’) has just hightailed it from Montana after clocking 3,000 miles (“unlimited mileage is unlimited mileage”) in a rental car. In the back he had almost as many miles of noir footage taken in the dark of night in the dives and railway yards of big sky country.

Back in New York he has spliced and diced his footage into his best noir short yet: Loanshark – Montana Noir. PI Tony takes on standover man and general slime-ball Buzz Croft, who has his claws in Sissy a girl gone wrong: booze, blues, country yodels, shoot-outs, locomotives, and rats along the railway tracks.

Ray packs into his 12 minute feature some truly arresting and mood perfect noir visuals along with a nicely satirical story-line. His editing is seamless, and his melding of an atmospheric soundtrack truly inspired – old country tunes from the likes of Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, Spade Cooley and His Band, and Bob Willis and His Texas Playboys, with a great instrumental coda featuring King Curtis’ Melancholy Serenade.

A real hoot and a holler! Watch it here courtesy of Ray and Vimeo.

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Cigar Joe’s Latest Homage to Film Noir: Girl Trap

Ray Ottulich has made yet another atmospheric noir video titled Girl Trap,  which features his lovely girlfriend as femme noir Scarlette – very sexy and with an edgy yet softly seductive voice – I love it when she says ‘Tony’!

This time we are back in Hudson, NY, where the heist scenes from that great noir Odds Against Tomorrow  were shot.  The side-door of the bank where the shootout occurred appears briefly at the 4:46 min mark,  and at the end Scarlett heads towards the corner intersection where the bus pulls up and Harry Belefonte sees the traffic accident.

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Cinematic Cities: New York 2007 – “a life in hell”

damages Cinematic Cities: New York 2007   a life in hell

I come to the city alone
I packed up my life and my home
’cause I feel like a body at rest
Is a life in Hell
So unpack my bags, unpack my bags
Kiss her on the mouth, and she says,
“Smile little lamb”

- From “When I am Through With You” by The VLA  (2006)

The TV series Damages (Fox 2007-2012) set in NYC  has the coolest opening credits.  A patina of noir with a dark pounding soundtrack featuring  “When I am Through With You” by The VLA.

0 Cinematic Cities: New York 2007   a life in hell

 

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Imperfect: Impressive New Indie Neo-Noir

Michael Tucker of  finite-films.com has written and directed a new film noir titled Imperfect, which is available for free viewing on YouTube.  A sort of  sci-fi neo-noir, complete with a dishy femme-fatale makes great use of voice-over and flashback. An intriguing script has been developed into a compelling murder-mystery.  Elegant camera-work, direction and editing, with an effective low-key score deliver a solid 25  minutes of entertainment.  The leads are very good and convincing.  The high production values belie the movie’s no-budget origins.

0 Imperfect: Impressive New Indie Neo Noir