Sunday, February 3, 2019

Noir City Film Festival 17 (2019)


It's that time of year again, Noir City! After the launch of my audio drama podcast, I no longer blog here, except now as it's a great space for recount my experiences at Noir City this year for future reference and remembrance.

I met some incredibly interesting and inspirational people like Imogen Smith, Meredith Brody, and Andy Wolverton (pictured with me below), had great movie-viewing time with friends, scored some good reading material, posed for a few fab photos (thanks Dennis Hearne) and saw some fantastic films!

Reading picked up this week at festival, bookstore, and library:
  • Samuel Fuller's autobiography A Third Face
  • Dashiell Hammett's biography: A Life by Diane Johnson
  • Noir City Annual 2018
  • Garbage: The Saga of a Boss Scavenger in San Francisco by Leonard Dominic Stefanelli
And most importantly, my goal of this post is to recall key things about each film so I don't forget everything I've seen--to recall the films I saw, what I liked and didn't, and make note of the films I didn't see and mark for future viewing.

Noir City 17 (2019)

Friday Jan 25th
  • Trapped (1949) - viewed - dir: Richard Fleischer, with Lloyd Bridges, breaks him out of jail to finger the counterfeiters, solid noir.
  • The File on Thelma Jordon (1950) - viewed - dir: Robert Siodmak, with Barbara Stanwyck is innocent of her aunt's murder? Liked it, solid noir.
Saturday Jan 26th
  • The Well (1951) - missed (matinee) - dir: Russell Rouse, cinematography: Laszlo, black girl's disappearance and effect on racially mixed town. From talking to people that'd seen it, sounds very emotional and intense. Need to see.
  • Detective Story (1951) - missed (matinee) - dir: William Wyler (The Good Fairy, Roman Holiday), with Kirk Douglas, William Bendix, Eleanor Parker (need to see more of her films). I really like Wyler, Douglas, and Bendix, so gotta check this one out!
  • The Turning Point (1952) - viewed - dir: William Dieterle, with William Holden, Edmond O'Brien, Ed Begley, really liked the female actress Amanda Waycross, great scene of the henchmen scattering in a split second leaving the main bad guy alone with the cops. Great film, runner-up as my favorite of the festival.
  • Angel Face (1953) - viewed/seen before - dir: Preminger, with Jean Simmons and Robert Mitchum, also with Herbert Marshall, is she crazy? Did she kill her parents? Really unnerving!
Sunday Jan 27th
  • Pickup of South Street (1953) - viewed/seen before - dir: Samuel Fuller, with Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, and Thelma Ritter (no relation to John Ritter), film wanted by Feds taken from carrier's purse on train by pickpocket, really sad death of Moe the stoolie, learned that pickpockets are called "cannons" - FAVORITE of festival.
  • City the Never Sleeps (1953) - viewed - dir: John H. Auer, with Gig Young (holy crap...25 years later he killed his wife and committed suicide, yikes!), Marie Windsor, and William Talman (famous for TV's Perry Mason, but in a few noir films in this festival) touted as an oddity--didn't strike me as odd, cop thinking about getting out gets a supernatural (?) partner played by Chill Wills--they never develop why this new partner doesn't exist, he doesn't really do the Jimmy Cricket or Clarence bit, but they try to do the Twilight-Zone bit at the end where everyone says the cop was working on his own that night. The cop accepts this without missing a beat and is meaningless. Entertaining enough, but flawed film, not a favorite.
Monday Jan 28th
  • The Pushover (1954) - viewed - dir: Richard Quine, script: Roy Huggins, with Fred MacMurray and Kim Novak so obviously not wearing a bra (how did she get away with that?!) also with E.G. Marshall, fun and suspenseful film of cop trying to get away with the loot. Great film, another runner-up to festival favorite.
  • Private Hell 36 (1954) - viewed - dir: Don Siegel, script: Ida Lupino and Collier Young, with Ida Lupino and Steve Cochran (from The Beat Generation and some great Twilight Zone episodes), dirty-cop theme, liked the guy who wasn't happy about begin roped into the theft (Howard Duff). Gavin reminds me the trailer he rented was number 36. Really great film, the heavy soft focus filter on Lupino seemed unnecessary. Stories where a good person gets roped into being an accomplice...find those hard to watch!
Tuesday Jan 29th
  • Kiss Me Deadly (1955) - missed/seen before - dir: Robert Aldrich, script: A.J. Bezzerides from novel by Micky Spillane, with Ralph Meeker and Gaby Rodgers, bonkers story about the briefcase with the mysterious and very volatile contents. Fantastic film and I love Meeker at Spillane, but needed a day off from the festival (and important, final client call the next day with Punchcut, so needed to skip).
  • Killer's Kiss (1955) - missed - dir/script: Kubrick, never seen this one and it would have been great to see on the big screen as I remember trying to watch on TV and was bored (but will try again), but I had to get a full nights sleep before work Weds so had to skip Tuesday's films.
Wednesday Jan 30th
  • The Scarlet Hour (1956) - viewed - dir: Curtiz, with Carol Ohmart and Tim Tryon (never seen him in anything else, but she was in House on Haunted Hill and Spider Baby...and a film I've never seen The Wild Party, 1956, why have I never seen that film, sounds great!). This is the one where she is cheating on her husband (James Gregory of Barney Miller fame) and decides it'd be a great idea (and so easy too!) to highjack the thieves stealing jewels from an LA mansion. What chumps! The best part of the film was the best friend played by Elaine Stritch...she's sooo awesome! Solid film made better because of Stritch!
  • A Kiss Before Dying (1956) - viewed - dir: Gerd Oswald, with Robert Wagner in this nasty film about a boy killing his preggers girlfriend to keep his life from being derailed. When the girlfriend shows up to class the next day alive was awesome and her sitting on the edge of the roof when you know he's going to push her any minute killed me! Amazed Robert Wagner didn't get typecast, but his good-looks and cold madness (as opposed to totally bonkers madness) probably protected him. Great film. Pretty darn satisfying ending.
Thursday Jan 31th
  • Nightfall (1956) - viewed - dir: Jacques Touneur, script: Stirling Silliphant, with Aldo Ray and the adorable Anne Bancroft. Really liked the tough but sweet Aldo Ray, love his strange raspy voice and his very relatable emotions as a guy unfairly in the hot seat. And wow, Bancroft is so young! The scene she is modeling a beautiful gown and runs off the cat walk to alert her man to the danger lurking was a high point, as was the whirring blades of the slow moving snow's coming right at you! Another extremely satisfying ending! Another runner up, well... actually a tie as my show FAVORITE! 
  • The Burgler (1956) - viewed - dir: Paul Wendkos, script: David Goodis, with Dan Duryea, Jayne Mansfield, and Martha Vickers (played crazy Carmen Sternwood in The Big Sleep). Despite a fantastic start with a tense jewelry heist within the 15 minutes it takes for the evening news to play out, and the victim walking back-and-forth in front of the open safe (camera POV from inside the safe), the film was a stinker! Oh lasted soooo long. The characters agonized over things that didn't make any sense and their motivation seemed off. Not a good film, was sooooo bored and glad when the end finally arrived.
Friday Feb 1st
  • Touch of Evil (1958) - viewed/seen before - dir/script: Orson Wells, with Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, and Orson Wells and Marlene Dietrich, brief appearance by Zsa Zsa Gabor and really weird character played by Dennis Weaver. Don't need to jog my memory for this film...seen so many times and it's soooooo fantastic! Still giving the favorite of festival to Pickup and Nightfall as few films can compete with Touch of Evil on many levels. Eddie talked about how two Wells' films bookmarked the noir era: Citizen Kane (1941) was a huge influence on the substance and style of noir, kicking off the era and Touch of Evil ending the classic noir era.
  • Murder By Contract (1958) - missed - dir: Irving Lerner, with no one I'm familiar with except for Herschel Bernardi (Lieutenant Jacoby in Peter Gunn). Sounds super interesting, gotta check it out. 
Saturday Feb 2nd
  • The Crimson Kimono (1959) - viewed (matinee) - dir/script: Samuel Fuller, with James Shigeta, Glenn Corbett, and Victoria Shaw (doesn't she look a bit like Sean Young?) --all amazingly attractive people. Really interesting film that focuses on the Japanese community in LA. Pretty good story about best friends in a love triangle working to solve a murder. The murder investigation didn't have enough to it, until the end to create the tension I think it needed to counter-balance the love angle...felt a bit weak and heavy-handed, but very heartfelt and interesting focus on the Japanese detective. Here's a link to an interesting article I'll be reading -- 
  • Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) - missed/seen before (matinee) - dir: Robert Wise, with Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Shelley Winters, Ed Begley, and Gloria Grahame. Seen this one and needed to get ready for the evening out for Andrea's birthday at Val's. Great film and tense with a distrustful and desperate trio of heisters. Worth seeing again at home.
  • A bout de souffle (Breathless, 1960) - viewed - dir: Jean-Luc Godard with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg. Great, fast paced, character study of a petty criminal and the girl who falls for him. Eddie talked about a fact I didn't know (or remember?) that the jump cuts came out of Godard's need to shorten the film, so he cut sections of shots/scenes instead of cutting whole scenes to make up the time, and the jump-cut was born! Loved it!
  • Psycho (1960) - missed/seen before - dir: Hitchcock, with Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. I've seen before but not for a long time and a clip I watched (in Serina's Noir City 17 clip film) didn't look familiar, so I really need to see again. I totally don't get worked up about "is it" or "isn't it" noir arguments and am behind Eddie that this film, at least the beginning, has traditional noir elements. Need to see again!

Sunday Feb 3rd
  • Blast of Silence (1961) - viewed - dir/script: Allen Baron, with Allen Baron as the main character. Independent film shot on location in NYC from late noir or "neo-noir" period. This one is another tie with South Street. Like most low-budget films, a few shots like the character walking down the street lasts too long, but wow, overall I loved this story of a hit man who is desperately lonely and wants out. The story is that Peter Falk was going to take the lead role, but had to drop out, leaving the director to take the lead and he was fantastic, can't imagine anyone else in the role. 
  • Underworld, U.S.A. (1961) - viewed - dir/script: Samuel Fuller, with Cliff Robertson, Dolores Dorn, Beatrice Kay, and Paul Dubov (frequent actor in Fuller films). Really great! I've technically seen it before, but I didn't remember most of it. Robertson's character gets revenge on the big-time crooks not by direct means, but by strategy, leading to their demise. Things don't end well for him, but he gets his revenge.
That makes 17 films out of 24! Happy I could go to the late shows this year, even if that did mean I'm under employed. 

So my watch list for 2019:
The Well
Detective Story
Killer's Kiss
Murder by Contract

Thanks to Eddie Muller and the whole crew (see back page of program) for another fabulous festival! Highlight of my year!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Odd Salon

Odd Salon is a great event and organization. What is Odd Salon? They're website says it best...

Odd Salon is an evening series of cocktail hour lectures based in San Francisco and features short talks on unusual chapters from history, science, art, and adventure.

When you give three talks you are invited to be a fellow. My third talk was in early 2017 and I got my fellow pin!

The mascot is a wolpertinger named Harvey.

It's a ton of fun to attend the events and to participate. Below is my second favorite! Warning: a few bits of off-color language.

Odd Salon Talk at Anomaly Sept-2015 from AimeePavy on Vimeo.

Odd Salon has recently been creating and posting videos of the shows on their YouTube channel!

Happy to have found this great, supportive, and fun group of smart people!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

20 Years! Can't Believe It's Been That Long!!

We can't believe it's been 20 years! We still get along and are closer than ever...who-da-thunk?! What a doll, right?!

Noir City Film Festival 16


Although I neglected to write about Noir City 15 (what?!), I'm back on the wagon and clear-headed enough to write about this year's Noir City 16!

How else will I keep track of the films I've seen, and haven't? At the after-party, closing night, one conversation topic was the near-impossibility to remember noir film names -- more specifically, to pair the title with the film. A film like "Hugo" is about a boy named Hugo, but what about "Raw Deal"?

This year's Noir City ran Jan 26-Feb 4, 2018. It's nice to have my evenings free and my liver is relieved that I'm taking a break from drinking, but I miss the darkness and the camaraderie!

It was another wonderful 10 days (I attended 8 out of 10): catching up with friends, buying a few books and the latest issue of the Noir City Annual (#9), and best of all, having an excuse to sit in the dark, hour after hour, gorging on film.

I now possess Alan Rode's tome on Michael Curtiz -- "Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film" -- can hardly wait to dig in to its detailed 700+ pages of film history goodness!

Out of the total of 24 films, I saw 16 -- pretty good for me, I must say. This year I've been between jobs so I was able to see all the weekday films without fear of losing sleep -- a big silver lining!

This year's festival had a super fantastic hook -- films in chronological order with an A-film paired with a B-film of the same year, to imitate a period movie experience!

Here's the line-up...

Films I Saw:

A: I Wake Up Screaming
B: Among the Living

A: Conflict
B: Jealousy

A: The Blue Dahila
B: Night Editor

A: The Unsuspected
B: High Tide

A: I Walk Alone
B: Bodyguard

A: The Accused
B: The Threat

A: The Man Who Cheated Himself
B: Roadblock

A: The Big Heat
B: Wicked Woman

Films I Missed:

A: This Gun for Hire
B: Quiet Please, Murder

A: Shadow of a Doubt
B: Address Unknown

Flesh and Fantasy

Southside 1-1000
The Underworld Story

Films I'd Already Seen:

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950)
Wicked Woman (1953)

So many of these films were new to me. That means I have seven missed films to watch this year -- #resolutions!

The highlights for me this year were Night Editor, The Unsuspected, and The Big Heat.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Podcast Blog


In an effort to put off creating a website, I created a blog for the show.

I'm so excited to have created ten episodes so far (9 stories and one OTR discussion), honestly never thought it'd last this long, but it's going strong!!

 And the artwork for season 2 is so amazing:

 * episodes 1 & 2 by Kirsten Tradowsky (

* episode 3 by Jeff Heermann (repurposed with new color from Ghost Crush season 1)

* episode 4 by Arthur Kay 

Tomorrow we're recording Season 2, Episode 5 and got the rewrite for Episode 6 and will record shortly the new dialog! Yay!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Twelve Chimes It's Midnight, Season 2!!


It's been a while since I've posted to the ol' blog. I really should not neglect it so...

A lot has happened since I last wrote, a lot of creative work and fun!

Twelve Chimes It's Midnight completed season 1 in June and after three months hiatus to work on season 2, it launched today!!! We'll have a new episode the 4th Tuesday of every month through June.

And last week, I launched a new YouTube channel with all the season 1 episodes and new, fantastic art by friend Jeff Heermann!! So exciting and the art is so many thanks to Jeff.

I wrote all of season 1, but season 2 seemed like a good time to expand and spread the writing efforts, especially since the regular Twelve Chimes cast is chock-full of writing talent!!! Season 2, episode 1, "Superstitions," came from the pen of Brett Stillo. And the two episodes to launch in November and start out the holiday season right, "Nutmeg" and "A Modern Convenience," are by our narrator Josh Horowitz and cast member Beth Abdallah.

Lots of work, but sooooo fun getting the cast together, recording performances and sound effects, editing, social media publicity, creating a video promo piece for the YouTube channel, and lining up artists and musicians for season 2!

Yay!! Creativity happiness!!!!

Here are the all the links to the show -- available wherever people find podcasts!

Our links:

Our supporters/partners:

Friday, April 14, 2017

Twelve Chimes Episode 3!


This morning I am a little sleepy, but coffee is helping (what would I do without coffee?!), and super excited/happy/satisfied, because I posted the latest episode (#3) of my podcast!!!!

Go Twelve Chimes, It's Midnight!!!!!

I was up late last night agonizing over the edit of the latest episode, Ghost Crush. Listening to it on iTunes this morning confirmed I posted the correct file (whew!).

This one was a bear to edit, so many sound effects and little changes. Posting episodes feels more final than most projects...once it's posted that's going back! I've been surprised how cutting a line or moving a line here and there can change the feel of a scene--a fun discovery.

There are two more recorded episodes and I now have all the sound effects recorded, so my work is not done! And then there's season 2!!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Radio Drama Podcast Launches!


I'm so excited about my new old-time radio, drama podcast Twelve Chimes It's Midnight!!

Look at that great logo by Michael Dean!!

The show launched Thurs night (Feb 2nd) on SoundCloud... ...and so far it's been played 60 times (although 3-4 of those are mine :).

I posted about the launch on my Facebook and Twitter pages and started new ones for the show.

* Facebook -
* Twitter - or @12chimesradio

I submitted to iTunes and to an active audio drama site called Radio Drama Revival. They have recent posts and seem to be very active.

I'll also be interviewed for a post by the author Varla Ventura for her blog. Yay!!!

Arch Obler, writer/producer of Lights Out,
and actress Nazimova, c.1940s
The inspiration for the show comes from old time radio shows, particularly Suspense, Adventures by Morse, and Lights Out, as well as 1940s-60s pulp novels and comic books, and b-movies.

It all started when I agreed to read an excerpt from one of my short horror stories at friends' bar -- Stookey's Club Moderne -- for a Halloween event on Sun Oct 30th (2016).

I chickened out (short story writing just not there yet), but I made a commitment and wanted to perform something to fill out 15-20 min for the afternoon event.

I decided to read from a Halloween-appropriate episode from Lights Out. I picked the episode called "Poltergeist," shortened it to 12 min, and reduced the number of characters to two. I enlisted the help of my friend Brett Stillo (who co-hosts the fabulous podcast 5 Minutes of Trouble, analyzing 5-min blocks of the film Big Trouble in Little China). 

Brett Stillo and me reading Poltergeist
at Stookey's Club Moderne 3.30.16
We read the play with a mic prop I created and some sound effects on my iPhone (hooked up to a small speaker) that I could call up with a tap. It was a resounding hit!

I was hit hard with a wave of inspiration...and three months later, I've written five plays, recorded two, edited and launched the first, and have another event scheduled at Stookey's, to perform and record the season finale (episode 5) on Sat Feb 25th with the Kirk Ribak Trio!!!

Aaron Seymour recording The Darkness

Arron and I recorded episode two, The Darkness, last weekend and I'll be editing this weekend. This is really happening!!

A huge thanks goes out to the sound engineering advice from Scott Louis and Marcus Marchesseault, as well as voice over talent Josh Horowitz (Brett's co-host for 5 Minutes of Trouble), logo design by Michael Dean, and to all the amazing, patient, and talented actors: Beth Abdallah, Audra Wolfmann, Scott Louis, Aaron Seymour, and Brett Stillo. Kiley Brokaw will be joining the group for episode #3. Also a huge thank you to my significant other who prefers to stay anonymous, he made a ton of great suggestions and bits of inspired story ideas! 💗💗💗

Scott Louis records sound effects
for The Darkness

Below are the launch dates for Season 1 -- a little sporadic, but tough to get everyone together, I'm just learning the audio editing software, and I have a demanding job. So I figured sporadic was better than not at all, right?!

2/2 -- Seance Games
2/16 -- The Darkness
3/23 -- Ghost Crush
4/6 -- Adopted Ghost
4/13 -- Chance Encounter (recorded live)

Now back to work editing The Darkness!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Noir City Festival 14 - Belated


I wrote a post the week after the Noir City Festival 14, which ran from Jan 22-31, 2016, but got sidetracked, so posting now...better late than never!!

The week following Noir City always feels a little empty. It was a wonderful 10 days (I attended 7 out of 10): catching up with friends, buying a few books and the latest issue of the Noir City Annual (#7), and best of all, having an excuse to sit in the dark, hour after hour, gorging on film.

Out of the total of 25 films, I saw 11. A few of the films I'd seen previously, but there are a bunch that I missed and need to watch on my own. I always struggle to remember the films I saw and films I want to see, so it seemed high time to write a recap for future reference.

Here's the line-up...

Films I Saw at Noir City 14:

Crack-Up (1946)
Los tallos amargos (The Bitter Stems, 1956)
Flicka och hyacinter (Girl with Hyacinths, 1950)
Deception (1946)
Humoresque (1946)
In a Lonely Place (1950)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
The Bad and the Beautiful (1953)
Specter of the Rose (1946)
Peeping Tom (1960)
Blow-Up (1966)

Films I'd Already Seen:

Rear Window (1954)
The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
Screaming Mimi (1958)
Scarlet Street (1945)

Films I Missed:

The Public Eye (1992)
The Dark Corner (1946)
Corridor of Mirrors (1948)
Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
Young Man with a Horn (1950)
Mickey One (1965)
The Big Knife (1955)
The Lodger (1944)
Bluebeard (1944)
The Red Shoes (1948)

I have some movie-watching to do!

The highlight for me this year was Flicka och hyacinter (Girl with Hyacinths, 1950). It such a simple story, so engaging. I can imagine myself launching into an amateur investigation, searching for the reasons behind the tragic actions of my neighbor.

The main character Dagmar Brink, played by Eva Henning, was quietly luminous. And I am pleasantly surprised to discover that she is still with us, at the  age of 95.

Following just behind are two films tied for second place: The Bad and the Beautiful and Specter of the Rose. The Bad and the Beautiful is a fun and drama-filled (and fueled) look at Hollywood. I adore Dick Powell as the professor-turned screenwriter, Gloria Graham is extremely convincing in her role as a sweet and earnest southern bell (not many actresses could pull off that accent), it is interesting to see Lana Turner as a messy drunk, and who doesn't enjoy watching Kirk Douglas lose his cool in a big way, few do hysteria like Douglas!

Then there is Specter of the Rose. What a crazy film with its best/worst dialog--"hold me with your eyes!" And the modern dance sequence--perfection! The dancers earnestly present their depiction of a city scape in dance accompanied by avant guard music by George Antheil (of Ballet Mecanique and Heddy-Lamarr-frequency-hopping fame). Despite their passion, they are casually ignored during their audition with one character going as far as crossing right through their performance, gingerly stepping over them on his way across the room.

The main character, dancer Andre Sanine, was a modern "bro" dropped in the middle of a 1940s film in which everyone spoke with the expected Hollywood accent, except for actor Ivan Kirov's flat Midwestern accent that stood out as so strangely...casual. He was not a seasoned actor, or a dancer at all for that matter--self-taught it turns out, but boy he can portray an unbalanced mind with the best of them!

I've seen The Picture of Dorian Gray before, but I find Oscar Wilde's story so fascinating, I had to see it again. I can't get the Little Yellow Bird song out of my head. A young Angela Lansbury is absolutely adorable.

I'm not sure which of the missed films I'll see first. My plan is to schedule a Post-Noir City program calendar for me and my significant other over the next few months. If that's successful, we'll go through last year's list and repeat the process--a great film plan for 2016! I've been watching too much TV anyway.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fabric Painting & Printing


Last December I took a stab at linoleum block printing (actually I used some other material that was softer, recommended for beginners).

Walking to work today, I passed a card store and realized it's that time of year again to think about holiday cards and what my design might be this year -- more ambitious than the last of course, so I better get started early.

I just saw an inspiring 1955 Pathé film showing women painting and printing designs on fabric.

British Pathé 1955
Hum...perhaps I'll print on fabric and adhere to the front of the cards? Or maybe I'll skip the cards and print on fabric and make a skirt...or better yet, do both! Matching skirt and holiday cards -- BRILLIANT!