MysteryPeople Double Feature: LA CONFIDENTIAL

All summer long, MysteryPeople has been partnering with the Authors and Auteurs book club for ‘Return to Normal,’ a film series highlighting 50s noir in fiction and cinema. Come by the store Sunday, August 6th, at 2 PM for a free screening of L.A. Confidential, followed by discussion of this essential work. 

  • Review by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

MysteryPeople’s summer collaboration with the Authors and Auteurs book club ends with a screening and discussion of one of the most ambitious crime film adaptations. L.A. Confidential, James Ellroy’s sprawling, dark, hyper-violent novel presents a challenge for any filmmaker to adapt – the work is over 500 pages long with three main protagonists, and several intricate plots. The result is more about capturing tone and theme than plot.

The novel concerns itself with three cops, milquetoast political climber Ed Exley, brutish Bud White, and celebrity hanger-on Jack Vincennes, in Fifties Los Angeles, chasing leads in their individual investigations (each tied to a mass shooting at a coffee shop) as well as their own demons, and serves as the third book in Ellroy’s L.A. Quartet. The heroin providing the McGuffin first appeared in the previous novel, The Big Nowhere.

L.A. Confidential uses the booming Los Angeles of the fifties, organized crime, and the picture business to look at America’s ‘bread and circuses’ culture; a triumvirate of distractions serving the powers that be as diversions from their own corruption. Ellroy also uses his setting to explore the dark side of male identity as each man is led through hell before he has a chance for his own dark redemption. All themes are portrayed vividly as Exley closes in on a serial murderer.

The story of the killer and many other parts of the novel did not make it on screen in the cinematic adaptation. Ed’s father, who figures prominently in the book, is dead in the film version (although one could argue he plays an important role in the film). Hanson and Hengeland quickly came to the decision that to get the story into a workable script, any plot that doesn’t concern all three main characters needed to be excised. The result is a much more streamlined tale that still remains intricate, creating more of a bond between the three cops, even though, as in the book, they don’t initially care for one another.

Hanson uses both cast and crew to bring out the book’s tone. All three actors, Guy Pearce (Ed Exley), Kevin Spacey (Jack Vincennes), and Russell Crowe in his star making turn as Bud White all convey different forms of male swagger and posturing, with the self-loathing it hides peeking out. Cinematographer Dante Spinotti balances both the Hollywood glitz and the mundane sleaze it covers.

L.A. Confidential shows you don’t have to be true to every plot point of a book to truly capture it. The film may not be able to delve as deep as the novel, yet it manages to hold onto the book’s dark themes. Both have found a way to be the first great epic noirs of their medium.

You can find copies of LA Confidential on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. Come by this Sunday, August 6th, at 2 PM for a screening and discussion of LA Confidential, presented by MysteryPeople and the Authors and Auteurs Book Club. The screening is free and open to the public and takes place on BookPeople’s third floor. 

MysteryPeople Double Feature: GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn

Come by BookPeople this upcoming Monday, August 22nd, at 7 PM, for a screening of Gone Girl [2014], followed by a discussion of the book and film. The screening will take place on the third floor and is free and open to the public. 

– Post by Molly Odintz

gone girlWhen I sat down last week to read Gillian Flynn’s mega-blockbuster of domestic suspense Gone Girl ahead of our upcoming screening of the film this upcoming Monday, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I knew before going in that the book had already made waves as a bestseller, despite (or, perhaps, because of) its unlikable female protagonist. My friends who had already read Gone Girl assured me that the husband was just as bad, although an unlikable male protagonist, in the form of the anti-hero, is much more pervasive.

As a passionate reader of mysteries and an ardent feminist, it would be difficult for me to underestimate the impact of Gone Girl in encouraging publishers to embrace challenging, complex female characters. The early aughts brought with them the compelling but simplistic Manic Pixie Dream Girl, the late aughts ushered in the era of The Girl in the Title, in which one Swede and a host of imitators forever linked “girl” with “dark and twisted,” as Flynn Berry pointed out in an interview earlier this year.

Then, with the 2012 release of Gone Girl, we entered into the era of the Unlikable Female Protagonist, previously a category embraced by literary fiction and issued in short print runs, now a qualifier for any bestseller of the domestic suspense variety. Why, you might ask, would I consider an unlikable female protagonist as a positive for feminism?

First, it would be patronizing to write every female character as a sop, morally superior to the no-damn-good men around her, who are thus freed from the responsibility of matching womanly perfection. A woman in literature, just as in life, has a right to complex motivations and wicked behavior.

Second, society has a problem with its willingness to listen to those women not bending over backwards to appeal to their audience. Maybe it’s time to have a whole trend of listening to women we don’t like, because their opinions, feelings, and experiences are just as complex and valid as those of the girl next door, or as Flynn calls it in Gone Girl, the “cool girl.” Gone Girl‘s Amy is not just hard to like – she’s been wronged, viscerally, and irreversibly, and her vengeance, while over-the-top, comes to a place of legitimate pain.

It’s difficult to say much about this book without discussing its abrupt, fascinating end, and so if you continue beyond this point, SPOILER ALERT. I repeat, SPOILER ALERT.

Read More »

MysteryPeople Double Feature: GET CARTER (based on JACK’S RETURN HOME by Ted Lewis)

 

 

The MysteryPeople Noir Double Feature Series, where we screen a film adaptation of a classic roman noir and discuss the film and book, continues this upcoming Monday, August 8th, at 7 PM on BookPeople’s 3rd floor. The screening is free and open to the public! You can find more information about the film series here

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Ted Lewis’ Jack Returns Home and director Mike Hodges 1971 adaptation, Get Carter,  released two years later, was a one-two punch from across the pond. We thought of British crime fiction as genteel drawing room whoddunits, before. Both book and film paved the way for crime stories in both the country’s medium that rivaled their American counterparts in the seventies for grittiness.

The film veers little from the book’s plot. Jack Carter, the member of a London criminal firm, returns home to bury his brother. His bosses, one whose wife Jack is sleeping with, tell him not to poke around. Of course if he followed orders, it wouldn’t be a hard boiled crime story, so instead he creates a trail of brutality, getting closer to a devastating revelation that leads to more brutality.

The differences between the book and movie are minor, yet create interesting nuances. Hodges decided to make Carter’s home town the seaside Newcastle instead of the nameless northern factory town Lewis used. The dreary greyness and sound of the ocean wind provide a bleak mood even in the day time. It also provides a great set piece for the final showdown. Also, due to the need to compress the story, there is little about the Fletcher Brothers, whom the far more competent Carter works for and is planning to set up. One can’t help but think of the Kray brothers who introduced a new level of violence to the London underworld in the Sixties. The film presents his bosses as faceless men, not that different from buffoonish corporate execs. Either way, Carter operates as his own man.

Get Carter brings Ted Lewis’ book to grungy cool life. Hodges’ documentary style creates a tough, cold tone you’d see in British crime films for the rest of the Seventies and into the Eighties. Michael Cain, in an uncompromising performance and Saville row suit, gives us one of the most iconic anti-heroes. If that isn’t enough, composer Roy Budd designed a cool crime hero theme second only to Shaft.

Double Feature Stats

Adherence To Book

4.5 out of 5

Adherence to Quality Of Book

5

Further Reading

GBH by Ted Lewis, Blue City by Ross Macdonald, Past Crimes by Glenn Erik Hamilton

Further Viewing

Hitman (blaxpoitation version), The Squeeze, Blue Ruin

Fun Fact

Following the film’s release, barmen in Newcastle got sick of being asked for drinks “In a thin glass!”

MysteryPeople Double Feature: THE GLASS KEY

The MysteryPeople Noir Double Feature Series, where we screen a film adaptation of a classic roman noir and discuss the film and book, continues this upcoming Monday, June 27th, at 7 PM on BookPeople’s 3rd floor. The screening is free and open to the public! You can find more information about the film series here. 

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

The Glass Key is often cited as Dashiell Hammett’s most personal novel. It is a complex mystery with men trying to retain their honor in a dishonorable life. The themes are layered and the morality ambiguous. Even its faithful film adaptation, starring Alan Ladd, still never quite captures the book.

Read More »

MysteryPeople Double Feature: REBECCA

  • Post by Molly Odintz

Come by this evening, Monday, June 13th, for a screening of Hitchcock’s classic film Rebecca, based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name, followed by a discussion of the film and book. The screening is the first of our Noir Double Feature Film Series, where we screen film adaptations of the crime fiction we love all summer long.

To prep for the screening and discussion, I picked up du Maurier’s novel a few days ago, expecting to read just enough before the screening to stumble through discussion afterwards. Instead, I finished the novel in two sittings, staying up late on my night off from work and unabashedly involving myself in one of the greatest romantic suspense stories of all time. Hitchcock’s film is fairly faithful to the original novel, and that’s a good thing – the novel is as gripping and surprising as the film, and the two compliment each other; the film merely manifests in image what du Maurier described in the novel so well, including the lush, forbidden landscapes of Manderley, subject of the novel’s famous first line, “Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again.” Also, Daphne du Maurier passes the Bechdel test throughout the novel, including every conversation between Mrs. Danvers and the second Mrs. de Winter.

Read More »

MysteryPeople Double Feature: COUP DE TORCHON

This Sunday, June 7th, at 6:30 P.M., MysteryPeople presents a screening of Bertrand Tavernier’s Coup de Torchon, the film adaptation of Jim Thompson’s Pop. 1280, followed by a discussion of the book and film. At each double feature event, we screen a film version of a roman noir we know and love. Each screening is free and open to the public, and takes places on BookPeople’s third floor.


Nobody understands noir like the French, which makes sense since they coined the term. The get that noir does not so much represent literary style, but rather stands for the relationship man has to the darker side of his nature. Director Bertrand Tavernier’s Coupe De Torchon, an adaption of Jim Thompson’s gothic noir classic, Pop. 1280, takes the dark American fiction that inspired French literary theorists to introduce the term “noir” post-WWII, and puts it on screen in a French context that preserves all the complexity of the original novel.

Pop. 1280 is almost a play on one of his other revered novels, The Killer Inside Me. As in that novel, the protagonist is a questionable small town lawman, Nick Corey, sheriff of the small Southern county of Potts in the Nineteen-Teens. Nick is lazy, talkative, corrupt, and upon first meeting, appears incompetent. He’s Forrest Gump with a badge, gun, and few scruples. When he shoots two pimps who publicly humiliate him, it starts an escalation of violence and a power play involving his wife, mistress, an opposing Sheriff candidate, and the disenfranchised African Americans. The book often reads as a social satire,with murder as a redemptive act.

Coupe De Torchon moves the setting to French Colonial West Africa on the eve of World War Two. The lawman is Lucien Cordier, a village constable played in a bumbling low key demeanor by Phillipe Noiret. The film follows the book almost plot point by plot point, the setting fits perfectly for the sheriff’s benign brutality as he commits crimes in the glaring African light with a matter-of-fact-presentation.

In fact, the main difference is the film’s more reserved tone. Much of this may be translation, for little of Thompson’s ripe prose and Southern dialogue comes through clearly in the film, although the film compensates for the translated dialogue with physical humor that feels very French. That said, it captures the novel’s themes of class and one society repressing another, both with more clarity and slyness. The title is roughly translated into “A Clean Slate”, which fits perfectly as the film and novel are both looks at regeneration through violence.

Coup De Torchon, along with the many other Thompson novels adapted for cinema, proves the malleability of Thompson’s work. The way he looks at violence and the practice of power through violence is timeless and universal in its application to the human condition. Both the novelist and the filmmaker he inspired had a lot to sat about this subject.


Double Feature Stats

Adherence to Book (Out Of 5):

4.5

Adherence to Quality Of Book:

4 (Not As Humorous)

Other Reading:

They Don’t Dance Much by James Ross, Donnybrook by Frank Bill, and anything by Daniel Woodrell

Other Movies:

The Bride Wore Black, Macon County Line, Mississippi Mermaid, Black and White in Color

Fun Fact:

When Pop. 1280 was translated into French, the title became Pop. 1275. Tavernier joked “I don’t know what happened to those five people  on the trip over.”

Copies of Thompson’s novel are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. We screen Coup de Torchon on Sunday, June 7th, at 6:30 PM on our third floor. The screening is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a discussion of the book and film in contrast.

MysteryPeople Double Feature: MARLOWE


– Post by Scott M. 

This Sunday, May 24th, at 6:30 P.M., MysteryPeople presents a screening of Marlowe, the film adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s The Little Sisterstarring James Garner as Marlowe, followed by a discussion of the book and film. At each double feature event, we screen a film version of a roman noir we know and love. Each screening is free and open to the public, and takes places on BookPeople’s third floor.


Phillip Marlowe may be the private detective with the most portrayals in film after Sherlock Holmes. Bogart’s iconic image gave him a tough guy edge, Elliot Gould deconstructed him, and Mitchum portrayed him as an aging knight. When it comes to being the closest to Chandler’s creation, I argue for James Garner in the fittingly titled Marlowe.

The film is based on Chandler’s The Little Sister. It was his first novel in six years. Most of that time was spent as a screenwriter under contact for Paramount, a job he despised. For the quintessential LA writer, this was the first time to cover the film business, and he writes it with an axe to grind. With a plot hinging on a blackmailed starlet in one of his funniest books, The Little Sister was the Get Shorty of its time.

The film, the first Marlowe film to be set in a contemporary period much later than the book was written, is hit and miss. Since it was a studio film, the makers didn’t want to stick it to themselves, so they set their sights on television. Screenwriter Stirling Silliphant, who worked in the first golden age of television, co-creating Route 66, looks at what the medium has turned into. By setting it in late Sixties TV, the stakes seem lower. Also the condensing of the novel, tends to focus on the plot, Chandler’s weaker point as a writer, than his mood and view of Los Angeles.

The film’s major saving grace is James Garner. His wisecracks are delivered effortlessl,y with no posturing, like some of his predecessors. He projects both the ease and gravity that define the character. The performance also shows us some insight into the future when he creates another iconic LA private eye, Jim Rockford.

Marlowe is one of those adaptations with an interesting relationship with its source material. Its style, period, and intent are all set in the history surrounding it. It is also a great look at the character, exploring, at least partially, the cipher of Philip Marlowe.


Double Feature Stats

Adherence To Book (1-5)

I’ll give it a three. The story veers some, the tone is not completely there, but Garner completely captures Marlowe.

Adherence To Quality Of Book

This gets a two. While the film has its moments, it is not as near as funny as Chandler’s novel.

Recommended Films

Harper, The Long Goodbye, Tony Rome

Recommended Books

The Falling Star (Can be read separately or part of the mega-meta-novel The Twenty Year Death), by Ariel S Winter, The Fame Thief by Tim Hallinan, The Moving Target by Ross MacDonald

Fun Fact

The way Marlowe outwits a kung-fu thug played by Bruce Lee is repeated in a Rockford episode.


Copies of Chandler’s novel are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. We screen Marlowe on Sunday, May 24, at 6:30 PM on our third floor. The screening is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a discussion of the book and film in contrast. Come for the movie, stay for Scott’s defense of his favorite ever depiction of Marlowe. 

MysteryPeople Double Feature: THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD

This Sunday, May 10th, at 6:30 P.M., MysteryPeople presents a screening of Martin Ritt’s 1965 film adaptation of the novel by the same name, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, followed by a discussion of the book and film. At each double feature event, we screen a film version of a roman noir we know and love. Each screening is free and open to the public, and takes places on BookPeople’s third floor.

Post by Molly

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of publication this year, and as we were putting together our film list for the Double Feature Series, my first choice was a screening of Martin Ritt’s 1965 adaptation of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. John Le Carré wrote the novel right after the Soviet erection of the Berlin Wall, and the book was adapted for cinema soon thereafter. Although the book and film both came into creation during the height of Cold War tensions, both have a time-period defying cynicism that suggest that the minute the Cold War began, its operators already understood the difference between ideology, practicality, and expediency, and each embraced only two out of these three.

As the novel begins, Alec Leamas, head of the British secret service’s Berlin Office, loses the last and best of an entire network of agents to the East German spy who has become his nemesis – the brutal and anti-Semitic Mundt. Alec returns to England, bitter and grieving at the deaths of his agents. He is given one last mission by the mysterious entity in charge of British Intelligence and known, throughout Le Carré’s novels, as Control. Alec will go to seed, pretend to turn Soviet defector, and incriminate Mundt as a last act of revenge before his retirement. He will exploit the rivalry between the ex-Nazi Mundt and his Jewish subordinate, Fiedler, to convince the Soviets that Mundt is a double agent. As Alec spends the first part of the book drinking and delivering enough angry diatribes for the Soviets to approach him, he begins working at a library and meets a young communist librarian, Liz Gold, with whom he begins an affair. What follows is the most complex series of reversals, betrayals, and mind-blowing reveals of any novel-movie combo I have ever experienced.

John Le Carré’s writing career overlapped with the end of his own career as a spy, and The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Le Carré’s third novel and first bestseller, was his last before his quit espionage and turned to full-time writing. Every bit of description, dialogue, and intrigue references back to Le Carré’s long foreign service career, which began during the 1950s and ended just at the height of the Cold War. Le Carré’s writing found quick success upon hitting his stride, filling a need in society for realistic, grey-scale depictions of the morally ambiguous Cold War.

spy

Sick of the black-and-white, wrong-and-right world of such spy fiction as Ian Fleming’s Bond series (admittedly, far grittier than the film adaptations of Fleming’s work, yet still of the guns, girls, and gadgets mode of thriller), readers flocked to the unrelenting cynicism, basic humanism, and ordinary spies of Le Carré’s writing. Le Carré’s world is populated by agents that, rather than stand out as glamorous examples of the über-mensch, blend in to the back of the crowd, and Liz Gold, Alec Leamas’ spindly communist lover, is about as far away from a Bond girl as a spy novel can get.

The film adaption of the novel is accurate to a level I have not seen in noir cinema since The Maltese Falcon – the film does, of course, condense the dialogue and convoluted scheming to allow for a typical run-time, but the overall plot and sentiment lose nothing in the translation from book to film. Performances from Richard Burton as Alec Leamas and Oskar Werner as Fiedler perfectly capture the bitterness and cynicism of the novel, and each actor’s own context matches the character they play in the film better than any historical drama could capture today.

British cinema and theater in the 1950s and 60s was in the midst of the “angry young man” drama. Exemplified by such books and films as Look Back in Anger, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, and The Sporting Life, the Angry Young Men showcased the frustrations of the immediate post-war generation of Britons as they faced a loss of international prestige associated with decolonization and the rise of America as a global power, a slow recovery from the privations of WWII (rationing continued in Great Britain into the 1950s), and a disenchantment with working-class and middle-class prospects in slow-to-evolve British society.

spy who came

Richard Burton, as Alec Leamas, perfectly captures the intensity and frustration of his generation as he mourns the loss of WWII-era certainty and rails against the exploitation of himself, his agents, and his friendships in the ever-more-ambiguous fight against an enemy against whom there will be no winning of wars, only Pyrrhic victories in small, shadowy battles. Oskar Werner, in his electrifying performance as Fiedler, also brings his own life and zeitgeist into his art. Fiedler, in his rivalry with crypto-Nazi Mundt, and in his attempts at friendship across barriers, mimics Werner’s own record of anti-fascist activity.  Werner, a pacifist, pretended incompetence to avoid serving on the Russian front during WWII, and spent the last few months of the war hiding out from the Nazis with his half-Jewish wife, whom he had secretly married.

Martin Ritt’s film adaptation takes the deep shadows and rich layering of Le Carré’s novel and translates them into gorgeous black-and-white photography, at the peak of its power in the mid-1960s. The film also uses claustrophobic framing and wide angle shots to reinforce the characters’ lack of agency and the plot’s moral minefield. Characters are glimpsed, partially obscured by shelves, windows, or barbed wire; or they are trapped and under surveillance, alone, bright lights and unseen eyes trained upon them as they look upwards, helplessly yet defiantly. Le Carré’s characters, in the book and film, make decisions, yet have few options, and are manipulated to a level generally unheard of outside of science fiction. I’ve never been so equally inspired and devastated by the end of a story before, and I can’t wait to discuss it with y’all this Sunday!


Copies of Le Carré’s novel are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. We screen The Spy Who Came In From The Cold on Sunday, May 10, at 6:30 PM on our third floor. The screening is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a discussion of the book and film in contrast. 

Double Feature: LAURA

On Sunday, April 26th, at 6:30 PM, we will be screening Laura, directed by Otto Preminger and based on the novel by Vera Caspary, as part of our Double Feature film series. At each double feature event, we screen a film version of a roman noir we know and love. Each screening is free and open to the public, and takes places on BookPeople’s third floor.


Post by Molly

Laura, first published in 1942, was Vera Caspary’s breakthrough novel. She turned the novel into a play, which was then adapted into a hit 1944 film, directed by Otto Preminger and starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb (in his first appearance in a film since the silent era) and a young, handsome Vincent Price. Many today have seen the film; fewer have read Caspary’s fascinating novel, reprinted by The Feminist Press in 2005 as part of their stellar Femmes Fatales imprint. The film and book, despite their gap in fame, are equally fascinating in their context and themes.

Laura begins, like many a detective novel, with the murder of a woman. Laura Hunt is found dead in her apartment, shot in the face with buckshot, with her portrait looming large above her. Detective Mark McPherson is assigned the case after his antagonistic boss decides to keep the young detective from going to the ballgame (just one example of Caspary’s acerbic wit and care for detail) and as he enters Laura Hunt’s world, his admiration for the murdered woman grows in proportion to his disappointment in virtually all of her companions, male or female.

Laura, in her life, was surrounded by a host of characters who alternated between worshiping her, controlling her, using her, and deceiving her. From Laura’s aunt, a faded beauty with designs on Laura’s fiance, to Laura’s best friend, a cynical society columnist who, before her death, destroyed each of her relationships with cutting remarks, to Laura’s gold digging fiance, a penniless Southern aristocrat who uses his good looks to gain Laura’s financial support while looking for a bit on the side – all combine an obsessive love for Laura with the need to exploit her talents and charm. Added to this host of callous, covetous characters, the policeman himself develops a growing interest in in the victim that gets in the way of his ability to solve the case.

I can’t get too much further into the plot – the book and film both have enough surprises that all I can provide is the basic set-up, but trust me, this film and book both have enough subtle nods at taboo topics to make for great between-the-lines reading. The film and book represent a variety of attitudes towards gender, sexuality, class and work. Sometimes, the story reads like a hardboiled version of a 19th century novel in its scathing critique of the Gilded Age upper classes.

The differences between the film and book are subtle, yet worthy of discussion.The story remains basically the same, with the usual shrinking of narrative time in a book-to-film adaptation and more differences introduced in the portrayal of characters than in the plot itself. There’s a rumor that a remake of the film may be in the works, and it would certainly be fascinating to see Laura adapted in post-code Hollywood for modern sensibilities. In the meantime, come watch this classic noir with us – we screen the film on Sunday, April 26th, at 6:30 PM on our third floor. 


Copies of Caspary’s novel are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. We screen Laura on Sunday, April 26th, at 6:30 PM on our third floor. The screening is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a discussion of the book and film in contrast. 

MysteryPeople Brings Back Free Noir Double Feature Film Series

Last summer, MysteryPeople brought you free screenings of five films based on some of our favorite romans noirs, followed by discussion of the book and film. We screened Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity, his adaptation of James M. Cain’s classic novel,  Purple Noon, René ClémentCarl Franklin’s Devil In A Blue Dress, based on Walter Mosley’s first Easy Rawlins book, and Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone, adapted from the Daniel Woodrell novel

Now, we are proud to announce the return of MysteryPeople’s Noir Double Feature Film Series for summer 2015. Starting Sunday, April 26, we will bring you five of our favorite films based on five noir classics. Screenings are free and open to the public and start at 6:30 PM on BookPeople’s third floor. We’ll be profiling each film/book combination closer to each screening, but here’s an overview of each film we’ve chosen for this year’s screenings:

laura picsSUNDAY, APRIL 26 6:30 PM

SCREENING AND DISCUSSION

OTTO PREMINGER’S 1944 ADAPTATION OF VERA CASPARY’S LAURA

Vera Caspary’s 1942 novel Laura was just one of many complex psychological mysteries by Caspary to be turned into a Hollywood film, but Laura may contain her most emblematic femme fatale of all. Come discuss this lesser known hard-boiled classic before a screening of the rather more well-known yet equally fascinating film. Copies of Laura are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. 

spy who came in from the cold screeningSUNDAY, MAY 10 6:30 PM

SCREENING AND DISCUSSION

MARTIN RITT’S 1965 ADAPTATION OF JOHN LE CARRÉ’S THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD

 John le Carre’s classic spy novel The Spy Who Came In From The Cold celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and the film and novel, with their prescient plague-on-both-houses story-lines, have only gotten better with time. Join us for Richard Burton and Oscar Werner’s electrifying performances in the film, followed by a discussion. Copies of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. 

pics for screening MarloweSUNDAY, MAY 24 6:30 PM

SCREENING AND DISCUSSION

MARLOWE, PAUL BOGART’S 1969 ADAPTATION OF RAYMOND CHANDLER’S THE LITTLE SISTER

In this neo-noir from 1969, James Garner plays Chandler’s Marlowe in one of the stranger adaptions of a Chandler novel. Come join us May 24 for a discussion of The Little Sister and a screening of Marlowe, the 1969 adaption of the book. Copies of The Little Sister are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. 

pics for screening coup de torchonSUNDAY, JUNE 7 6:30 PM

SCREENING AND DISCUSSION

COUP DE TORCHON, BERTRAND TAVERNIER’S 1981 ADAPTATION OF JIM THOMPSON’S POP. 1280

Jim Thompson’s Pop 1280 gives us one of the most chilling looks into a killer’s mind ever written, and Coup de Torchon beautifully adapts Thompson’s novel, changing the setting from the American South to French Colonial Algeria. We picked a French film in celebration of International Crime Fiction Month, which we plan to celebrate in a variety of ways, including international crime fiction pics for all of our book clubs.  Copies of Pop. 1280 are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. 

pics for screening walk among the tombstonesSUNDAY, JUNE 21 AT 6:30 PM

SCREENING AND DISCUSSION

SCOTT FRANK’S 2014 ADAPTATION OF LAWRENCE BLOCK’S A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES

Lawrence Block’s Mathew Scudder series is one of our most beloved in the mystery section, and we are pleased to bring you Scott Frank’s recent addition to the noir canon, his adaptation of A Walk Among The Tombstones. Please join us for a film screening and discussion of the novel. Copies of A Walk Among The Tombstones are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.


Keep an eye out on our blog for more in-depth looks at each of the books and films as we get closer to each screening. A full list of the film series can be found on our website.