22 mayo 2007

The Best of Noirs


Por primera vez, pondré una columna aparecida en la revista masculina más vendida de todo el planeta y que destaca "principalmente" por sus artículos.


THE BEST OF NOIRS
(DARK NOVELS FOR DARK TIMES)


French critics adopted the term noir to describe the lusciously dark Hollywood crime films of the 1940s and 1950s that riffed on German expressionist cinema an hard-boiled American Pulp.
It has since come to signify a style or mood – usually brooding and driven by a cynical amorality.
And if those early examples were a reaction to social and cultural upheavals such as the Depression, World War II and the birth of the atomic bomb, it shouldn´t come as a surprise after 9/11 and the subsequent “war of terror” our desire to create and consume all things noir seems as unquenchable as ever. Indeed, in HIT PARADE, Lawrence Block´s stamp-collecting, baseball-loving hit man Keller returns, suffering a passing crisis of conscience about his chosen profession in the wake of 9/11. Trailing Keller around the country as he practices his trade in meticulous fashions feels like a classic noir road trip. In a inspired move. Paul Malmont makes the characters of his readable CHINATOWN DEATH CLOUD PERIL real-life 1930s pulp auteurs Walter Gibson, Lester Dent and even L. Ron Hubbard, Georges Simenon´s STRANGERS IN THE HOUSE tells the story of Hector Loursat, a French lawyer and nobleman who has become a recluse in the 18 years since his wife abandoned him and their daughter. Awakened one night by the sound of a gunshot, he finds a corpse in a forgotten room and proceeds to unravel the mistery of who the man was and who killed him. Simenon, a legend of the genere, has a terse, compelling style that reveals a profound psychological acuity. George Pelacanos´s DRAMA CITY follows ex-con Lorenzo Brown around the mean streets of Washington, D.C. Brown resists rejoining a world of drug traffickers and gang rivalries until his friend – and parole officer – is savagely attacked.

Mark T. Conard.