RARA-AVIS: Noircon, Femmes Fatale, and David Goodis's "The Professional Man."

From: Jack Bludis ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 06 Apr 2008

I spent most of yesterday at Noircon in Philadelphia.

I not only chatted with old friends Reed Coleman and Eddie Muller, who knows noir as well as anyone I've ever heard about, but a I had lunch at the same, very small table with Vicki Hendricks and Christa Faust, and I finally met Megan Abbott. (These three women are arguably the vanguard of the new female noir.) All three were on the femme fatale panel.

OK, enough name dropping.

One terrific segment included back-to-back showings of half-hour TV versions of Goodis's "The Professional Man." One from HBO and another from Showtime.

They were interesting takes. The Showtime version, with screenplay by Harold Rodman, who was present, and directed by Steven Sonderberg, was the far edgier of the pieces. The rolls were all male and the actors included Brendan Frasier and Peter Coyote.

Ironically, in spite of the role reversal in the Rodman version, it was truer to the story than the the one with screenplay by Nicholas Kazan, that starred Christian Slater and Bridget Fonda.

A copy of Goodis's story was in one of the anthology "magazines" of MURDALAND, which was in my convention book bag.

I drove up to Philly for the day, and obviously missed much of it, but what I saw and experienced was excellent.

Jack Bludis


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