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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

This Screaming Girl Has Suddenly Realized That the Body Lying Under the Blanket Is That of Her Mother: Weegee's noir genius

Weegee, the great tabloid photographer… took a remarkable picture of Veronica Lake. The legendary movie star and pinup model is shot from behind, so only her fur-coat-covered back and weegee-veronica lake.jpgneatly coiffed hair can be seen. The picture’s real focus is a group of fans staring at her, their faces unsmiling, and more than a little menacing, writes Adam Cohen in a passable NY Times thumbsucker on the occasion of the ICP’s “Unknown Weegee”exhibition. “Weegee’s classic film-noir style is represented in black-and-white pictures of blanket-draped corpses on sidewalks, and more elegantly chilling fare, like the picture of a fashionable young woman covering her face with black-gloved hands, entitled “Irma Twiss Epstein, Nurse Accused of Killing Baby.” While Cohen is most intrigued by “crowd shots… that capture people on the street gazing too intently at celebrities, accidents and crime scenes.” But he also has fun littering his piece with Weegee’s tabloid titles: “This Screaming Girl Has Suddenly Realized That the Body Lying Under the Blanket Is That of Her Mother”; “Mrs. Anna Sheehan … Accused as Murderess”; “Cop Who Looks Like Gary Cooper Books Blind Man for Murder”; “Woman Signing Autographs in Car”; “Ermine-Wrapped Patron Caught in Gambling Den”; and “Virginia Ornmark, Gun Girl.” [Extended citations of Neil Postman’s pessimism at the link.]

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“I think [technology has[ its made my life faster, it’s made the ability to succeed easier. But has that made my life better? Is it better now than it was in the eighties or seventies? I don’t think we are happier. Maybe because I’m 55, I really am asking these questions… I really want to do meaningful things! This is also the time that I really want to focus on directing. I think that I will act less and less. I’ve been doing it for 52 years. It’s a long time to do one thing and I feel like there are a lot of stories that I got out of my system that I don’t need to tell anymore. I don’t need to ever do The Accused again! That is never going to happen again! You hit these milestones as an actor, and then you say, ‘Now what? Now what do I have to say?'”
~ Jodie Foster

“If there’s one rule Hollywood has metaphysically proven in its century of experimentation, it’s that there’s no amount of money you can’t squander in the quest for hits.

“Netflix has spent the past couple years attempting to brute-force jailbreak this law. Its counter-theory has seemed to be, sure, a billion dollars doesn’t guarantee quality but how about three billion dollars? How about five billion dollars? Seven?

“This week’s latest cinematic opus to run across no-man’s-land into the machine-gun emplacements has been the Jared Leto yakuza movie ‘The Outsider.’ Once again, debuting on Netflix, another thing called a movie that at one glance doesn’t look like any kind of movie anyone has ever seen before, outside of off-prime time screenings at the AFM.

“If you’re working at a normal studio, you have one or two of these total misfires in a year and people start calling for your head. How many is Netflix going on? Fifteen? Twenty? This quarter? Any normal company would be getting murdered over results like that.”
~ Richard Rushfield