A blog dedicated to reviewing crime novels published by independent presses everywhere.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Things have been quiet here lately. I've been really, really busy, and that's been paying off, but I haven't had a whole lot of time to read lately. I did, however, get around to watching Brick, the high school film noir from 2005. I had been putting off watching this film because, despite the praise it's received, it seemed like an idea that could easily go wrong. I sat down really wanting to like it, and the good news is I did. Going in I didn't know how putting noir style dialogue in the mouths of high school students would work out, but writer/director Rian Johnson made it work.
The film starts with a note slipped into a locker, which leads to a phone call, where the hero Brendan tells his ex-girlfriend it's been two-months when she opens the conversation by noting that it's been a long time since they'd seen each other. It's a great touch. In high school, two months is an eternity, and it works. The young actors all sell it, and when the movie has its ridiculous moments, like when Brendan and local drug dealer "The Kingpin" sit awkwardly and wait for the Kingpin's mom to leave the room so they can talk, the levity is intentional, and serves to underscore the fact that parents are often either completely oblivious to their teenagers' more adult proclivities or willingly turn a blind eye to them.
Overall this film hit pretty close to home in a lot of respects. I identified a lot with Brendan, a teenage loner who spends his time reading behind the school. I spent the last two years of high school sitting in the hall reading, and occasionally going to class, when I wasn't getting high. Speaking of which, Brick's depiction of a teenage drug underworld, while exaggerated, isn't that far off the mark. Overall, I think that's why the movie worked. It was rooted in reality.
Welcome to the Indie Crime Blog. As the name implies, this blog is dedicated to reviews of crime fiction published by independent presses. There are many books published every year that seem to be ignored for a variety of reasons. The books sections of newspapers are getting smaller. Bookstores give more shelf space to more established authors. I could go on, but you get it.My intent is to review books both old and new in the hopes that some deserving writers and worthy publishers will gain some exposure. I can be emailed at IndieCrime-at-gmail-dot-com