Farewell, My Lovely (novel & film)

Farewell, My Lovely (1940) is famous for its metaphors. Chandler's second novel also features one of the richest troves of grotesque characters in American literature. The plot may be disjointed but the theme is sure. This was Chandler's favorite novel, and many critics think it his best. Foremost among the grotesques is Moose Malloy, a … Continue reading Farewell, My Lovely (novel & film)

German Expressionism

German Expressionism as a movement in the arts flourished in the 1920s, strongly associated with the disillusionment of the post-WWI era. It contrasted itself to the reigning canons of realism and impressionism and, instead, focused on subjective emotional experience, alienation and violence of modern city life. Artists like Wassily Kandinsky, George Grosz, and Oskar Kokoschka, … Continue reading German Expressionism

High Sierra (film), Treasure of the Sierra Madre & “Desert Noir”

High Sierra (1941) is often described as a “heist” film, but it is actually part of a broader incorporation of the American West into film noir.       The West, especially in its arid parts, has long been the scene of American myth-making, some of it inspired by actual history.   The general theme of popular narratives … Continue reading High Sierra (film), Treasure of the Sierra Madre & “Desert Noir”