Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Noirsville Noir Artwork of the Week

Some great noir graphics found on a google search, enjoy!

Noirsville Tune Of The Week

James "Jimmy" Witherspoon (August 8, 1920 – September 18, 1997) was an American jump blues singer.

Good Morning Blues

Good morning blues
Blues how do you do
Good morning blues
Blues how do you do
Babe, I feel alright
But I come to worry you

Baby, it's Christmas time
And I wanna see Santa Claus
Baby, it's Christmas time
And I wanna see Santa Claus
Don't show me, my pretty baby
I'll break all of the laws

Santa Claus, Santa Claus
Listen to my plea
Santa Claus, Santa Claus,
Listen to my plea
Don't send me nothing for Christmas
But my baby back to me

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dorothy Malone (1925-2018) R.I.P.

Dorothy Malone (1925-2018) R.I.P.


Journey to the End of the Night (2006) Gritty São Paulo, Brazilian Noir

An excellent Neo Noir with an actual "Classic Noir" ballpark runtime of just 88 minutes. I'm impressed.

The film was written and directed by Eric Eason who phenomenally worked some genuine low budget Noir magic.  Combine that with Ulrich Burtin's gritty, very grainy, style of cinematography with an interesting production design palette heavy on primary colors by Francisco de Andrade. The film evokes a curious comic book/graphic novel melange of Classic Film Noir, Sin City and Vittorio Storaro's work in Dick Tracy. The films music was by Elia Cmiral.

The tale is filled with lowlifes, losers, and those on life's lowest rungs, as a film noir should be. The cast of characters include, pimps, prostitutes, drug mules, transvestites, gangsters, crooked narcotics cops, smugglers, a soothsayer, a homeless girl, a dishwasher, and a little boy all on their own individual  journeys to the end of a single night in the city of São Paulo.

The story starts a few months before in a rundown section of São Paulo at Sinatra's Cocktail "Club", a combination strip joint/whorehouse. A Russian mobster is caught with a prostitute and shot full of holes by his pissed off wife who then blows her own brains out. He leaves behind a large suitcase filled with heroin.

Sinatra (Scott Glenn)

Paul (Brendan Fraser)
It's worth a fortune and it just dropped into their laps. The flesh-peddler Sinatra (Scott Glenn), and his cocaine addicted pimp son Paul (Brendan Fraser) concoct a scheme to sell the heroin to Nigerian drug lords who are on a cargo ship docked at the nearby port city of Santos. Sinatra wants to use the cash to get out of the biz with his second wife, an ex club prostitute named Angie (Catalina Sandino Moreno), their son Samy (Gilson Adalberto Gomes), and hop a flight back to the states. Paul wants to just break even on his debts. The deal hinges on a drug mule who can speak Urhobo with the Nigerians.

Angie (Catalina Sandino Moreno)

Sinatra and Samy (Gilson Adalberto Gomes)

 Nazda (Matheus Nachtergaele)

The dead mule
A couple of hours before the drug deal the mule suffers a massive coronary while packing fudge with a Brazilian tranny Nazda (Matheus Nachtergaele). Things now go seriously Noirsville. Sinatra and Paul must rely on the only other Urhobo speaker that they know, their club's dishwasher Wemba (Mos Def). Wemba with the chance of never having to wash a dish in his life again, half goodnaturedly, and understandably, half selfishly agrees to help. He heads off on his odyssey to Santos with the suitcase.

the last resort

Wemba (Mos Def)
Complicating things convolutedly are a series of serious twists. <possible spoilers>

Paul wants to double cross his old man with the help of his goons and take all the moola for himself.  He has one man follow his father while the other stakes out Wemba's flop house. Paul is also screwing his old man's second wife. Nice guy.

An informer in the club rats to a narcotics cop who has known all along about the heroin, He knows that a deal is going down, heads to the club and braces Paul for fifty percent of the swag.

Wemba, in classic "hero" mode, makes good on the drug deal on the ship. While triumphantly on his way back to his car walking along a deserted quay with the cash in his backpack, he calls Sinatra on his cell phone. Telling Sinatra of his successful mission he suddenly gets mugged by a couple of strung out addicts who knock him in the head, take his phone and run away.  Sinatra hears this and detects that something just went wrong from the abrupt break of contact with Wemba. Paul, who was standing alongside Sinatra, now assumes Wemba has skipped with the cash back to Africa. Sinatra heads to a local Soothsayer (Ruy Polanah) who, obviously, has some serious street creds with the locals, to see if he can divine the whereabouts of his cash cow Wemba.

Soothsayer (Ruy Polanah)
Paul in an "un-cute" meet gets into a vicious fight with Nazda the tranny, and cuts his face with a straight razor. Nazda now disfigured and obviously "marked down" in street value earning power, is out for revenge.

Monique (Alice Braga)
Meanwhile .... In Santos, a girl named Monique (Alice Braga) comes home and finds her lover in bed with another woman. She gets beaten up in the ensuing fight and flees into the night towards the docks. She comes upon the barley conscious Wemba and helps him to his car. She offers to drive when she sees that Wemba is not fully capable of driving. When Monique and Wemba get back to Wemba's flop, they both get shot at by Paul's hitman which commences a cat and mouse chase through the streets of São Paulo.

All of these events coming at you at lightning speed intertwine inevitably, resulting in a train wreck of a denouement.


The biggest surprise in the film is Brendan Fraser who director Eason casts (like Sergio Leone did with both Lee Van Cleef in For A Few Dollars More, and Henry Fonda in Once Upon A Time In The West) way, way against type as Paul. Seeing Fraser play and enraged degenerate jackass is a jaw dropping, eye opener, he shows quite a bit of range here from his former pathetic good natured schmos as he chews up the scenery.

Mos Def is very likeable as the honest, loyal, Wemba who plugs away at his dangerous mission for a shot at a life of monetary freedom. Scott Glenn gives us a nuanced performance. He's a cold no nonsense successful pimp on one hand but on the other a caring father and loving husband who wants to give his second son a better life. Catalina Sandino Moreno, plays the screwed up former prostitute who flip flops in affection between Paul and Sinatra. Matheus Nachtergaele as the transvestite hooker is quite convincing, as is Ruy Polanah as the extremely spaced out fortune teller.

A nice surprise, screencaps from the Alchemy/Millennium February 27, 2007 DVD, its a love it or hate it film, for true Noiristas and AficioNoirdos, 9/10.