Re: RARA-AVIS: Street Kings (Is Ellroy Losing his Halo?)

From: Patrick King (
Date: 04 May 2008

--- Nathan Cain <> wrote:

> I have been putting off seeing this movie. There was
> once a time when
> I would have rushed out to see anything with
> Ellroy's name attached to
> it, and I'm kind of surprised it took so long for
> anyone to bring it
> up on this list. It would seem like a movie with an
> Ellroy penned
> story would a big screaming deal on a list dedicated
> to hard boiled
> crime fiction. It seems, however, to have hardly
> made an impression on
> anyone. It wasn't too long ago that Ellroy was the
> toast of the hard
> boiled world. It seems to me, like some of the shine
> has worn off. I
> know I kind of got sick of him mouthing off about
> his dead mother, and
> doing the tortured genius shtick. It began to get
> unseemly, quite
> frankly. He suffered a great loss as a kid and had a
> terrible
> childhood, but his dwelling on it so much began to
> make me
> uncomfortable. It's unsettling to see a grown man
> work out his mommy
> issues so publicly. Has Ellroy gone off the rails,
> and squandered his
> cachet? What say you fellow list members?
************************************************** I'm still interestedin Ellroy, but I have to say, your post here is the first thing I've heard about this movie. I'd guess the fault lies with the film's producers. I don't exactly live with my head in the sand especially regarding media events.

As to Ellroy's issues with his mother's mysterious death, I think it's one of his most intriguing characteristics. This guy doesn't just have a noir mind set, he's had a completely noir life: his mother's murder, his attraction for Nazi philosophy, his life in the streets of LA committing burglary to get high on inhalers, working as an adult caddie while he wrote his first stories and books. Who else knows noir from the inside like that? Personally, I don't think Ellroy has even started on his great work yet.

Patrick King

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