Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Eddie Muller & the World of Film Noir

Eddie Muller is “The Czar of Noir “(a title given to him by the crime writer, James Ellroy) He belongs to the darkest nights and menacing corners of San Francisco noir world.

In his word, he is a “product of a lousy public school education, a couple of crazy years in art school, and too much time in newspaper offices and sporting arenas; no college, always hanging around smarter people.” His brief stint with the world of filmmaking goes back to late 1970s; a 14-minute, 16mm hommage to Raymond Chandler called Bay City Blues. Later he directed another short The Grand Inquisitor.

Now it seems like he has became one of the smartest people in town himself, because everybody hangs around him! He is the president of the “Film Noir Foundation” and writer of three books on noir. You can hear his voice and his comments on numerous DVD audio commentaries for noir masterpieces in Fox and Warner. He also has 2 fiction books in his vast catalogue of prints.
He is a noir comrade of mine, and thanks to him I printed my first noir piece in English in “Noir City Sentinel”, a publication of “Film Noir Foundation.”

You can watch and listen to him, in person, here:

Eddie Muller - Film Noir Foundation from Motion Picture Anthropology on Vimeo.



The Czar has chosen his top 25 noir. “ These are simply films that I have viewed and enjoyed multiple times, and expect to appreciate even more as time goes on. Consider the listing a sort of carnival barometer, ranging from INFATUATED to PASSIONATE.” Says Eddie about this selection in his website.


25 RAW DEAL (1948)
24 CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS (1952)
23 TOUCH OF EVIL (1958)
22 SCARLET STREET (1945)
21 DETOUR (1945)
20 TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY (1951)
19 THE PROWLER (1950)
18 GUN CRAZY (1950)
17 ACT OF VIOLENCE (1949)
16 ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1959)
15 THE KILLING (1956)
14 THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (1949)
13 THIEVES' HIGHWAY (1949)
12 SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1958)
11 THE KILLERS (1946)
10 MOONRISE (1948)
9 OUT OF THE PAST (1947)
8 NIGHT AND THE CITY (1950)
7 NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947)
6 THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)
5 DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)
4 THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950)
3 SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
2 CRISS CROSS (1949)
1 IN A LONELY PLACE (1950)

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