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The Year in Review: 2009

I Wake Up Screaming (1941)

Joel Bocko of  The Sun’s Not Yellow yearly roundup of posts from his Blogroll has given me the idea to highlight some of my posts from the past year.  My next post will look at what I have planned for 2010.

My commitment to blogging has waxed and waned this year, and I have not been as prolific as 2008, but I did pursue my writing of short fiction pieces inspired by my interest in film noir, and these are collected here: Noir Fiction.

Other 2009  posts on movies I found particularly interesting:

The Lost Weekend (1945): “I can’t take quiet desperation”

Christ in Concrete (1949): Simply a masterpiece

Caged (1950): “the plot of our life sweats in the dark like a face”

I Wake Up Screaming (1941): Bizarre Transference

Le quai des brumes (Port of Shadows – France 1938): Poetic Realism


  1. This is an excellent idea Tony, and your exquisite back catalogue from 2009 warrants it. I well remember all five, and I must admit that three of them rank as among my personal Tony d’Ambra favorites:
    The Lost Weekend: “I Can’t Take Quiet Desperation”
    Christ in Concrete: “Simply a masterpiece”
    Le Quai des Brummes: “Poetic Realism”

    The first may be the finest straight review you’ve ever written (but you have several others in that class), CHRIST might be your most ‘gloriously resurrection’ of forgotten cinema, and the sensory prose/poetry you wrote for the French film, is on eof your best creative pieces.

  2. Thanks for the re-cap and links. I missed your review of Christ in Concrete when it was first published. I agree, it’s a masterpiece.

  3. Hi! Tony,
    Nice roundup…Unfortunately, I have never watched the 1950 film Caged and the 1938 film Le quai des brumes (Port of Shadows) I have not watched yet, but I will get around to watching it one day.
    Fortunately, I have watched The Lost Weekend
    Christ in Concrete,and I Wake Up Screaming.

    I most definitely, agree with your description of each film.
    Thanks, for sharing and I will look forward to your next post.
    By the way, Tony,
    Here wishing you and Sam Juliano,(and your families) a safe, pleasant, peaceful and Happy New Year too!
    Take care!
    DeeDee ;-D

  4. Thanks Sam, Tom, and DeeDee. Looking forward to having you all on board for 2010!

  5. I particularly liked this post Noir City Blues with the following text:
    LA, Frisco, Chicago, and New York. I know these cinematic cities though I have never been. A resident knows his locale, but the city in its ectoplasmic center is not reached corporeally, only in the phantasmagoria of a thousand and one shards of shattered night. Luminescent environs of a cosmic b-movie. Wet asphalt, fog-laden piers, deserted streets, rusting hulks at anchor, the neon glimmer of purgatory dives, cigarettes and booze, dark tenements, the skid of car tires, and the wailing sirens of the dead. Staccato rhythms and aching horns, crowded pavements and desperate loneliness.

    One more fix, the last heist. Treachery, misplaced loyalty, and courageous infamy. The denizens of a nether world trafficking in sordid magic and lurid hopes.
    The surrealism is not as far fetched as one might suppose.

  6. Tony,

    Like you my blogging has waxed and waned all year but I feel worse about my sporadic attendance at other blogs than my sporadic upkeep of my own. Hopefully this round-up ameliorates that, just a little bit. Tomorrow, as I gather together the links I will read (and re-read in some cases) all of these. I’m glad you’ve kept at it, ambivalence and all…

    Happy new year,


  7. Thanks Edward! Looking forward to your continued contributions in 2010.

    Thanks Joel. I will certainly look out for your round-up.

  8. Tony,

    A great selection! I finally saw “Port of Shadows” since I commented when your article was originally posted. What a great film, certainly one of the best I watched in 2009. A brilliant fatalistic love story. I have to watch it again and maybe even do my own article.
    “Christ in Concrete” still eludes me, hopefully I will get to see this as I am interested in films with the immigrant, especially Italian-American, background.

  9. Thanks John. Glad that you enjoyed Port of Shadows. I need to revisit it too.

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