Mark Sullivan (
Tue, 18 May 1999 20:03:43 -0400 (EDT) You don't say whether the course takes up hardboiled, et al, in general
or whether it focuses on a certain period. For instance, film noir,
proper, is confined to a particular time, although it has had numerous
heirs and a recent neo-noir revival.

That said, here are a few ideas I have. First, you might want to look in
the rara avis archives a few months ago for the posts on "hardboiled
music," which dealt with it both in sound (mostly jazz, like Miles,
Coltrane and Charlie Haden Quartet West and soundtracks like Chinatown
and others) and lyric (Warren Zevon, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Robyn
Hitchcock, Johnny Cash, gangsta rap and others). Also, there has been
recent discussion of Frank, Dean and the rest of the Rat Pack, who lived
a hardboiled life, whether or not their music fits the genre.

As far as art, you'll also have to decide whether hardboiled is defined
by the art or the artist. For instance, Jackson Pollock and many of his
peers certainly lived hardboiled, but I don't know if abstract
expressionism counts as hardboiled painting - maybe. Of course, some
fit both ways. many of them photographers, especially Robert Frank,
Diane Arbus and the great Weegee.


ps -- Sort of speaking of rap, there is an early-70s pre-rap LP
(available on CD) called Hustlers' Convention which will appeal to
anyone who enjoyed Iceberg Slim. It is a story told in rhyme of a
gathering of hustlers to determine who was the best; much of the backing
music is supplied by Kool and the Gang. All in all, I enjoy it, and
listen to it, much more than Slim's own LP.

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