I had the pleasure of attending Chris Moore's
signing at the Tattered Cover bookstore. Chris was in Denver to plug his newest book, You Suck: A Love Story
, the sequel to Bloodsucking Fiends
. The signing room was packed with two hundred plus attending. Chris worked the crowd with his clever anecdotes. One example: Chris explained why he moved from the paradise of Hawaii to San Francisco. His answer: Living in Hawaii is like sleeping with a super model. One day you wake up needing conversation.
This week I got around to watching the movie, The Man With The Golden Arm,
starring Frank Sinatra. If you're certain that America in the 1950s was all poodle skirts and Happy Days
, then take a look at this coarse tale about the dark side of mid-century society. Heroin addiction, alcoholism, gambling (not at all like the poker matches on cable TV), extortion, people desperate to make ends meet let alone get ahead. I enjoyed the gritty details of the movie: the seedy bars, the clothing, the neighborhood drunks, the cluttered neon landscape. The characters lived in cramped studio apartments with the sink and a tiny stove next to the bed. There's a great scene of Sinatra visiting Kim Novak who works the concessions in a strip club. So much for the lily white morality of the Eisenhower era. The movie doesn't flinch from the hard edges of life back then and can get tough to watch as you witness Sinatra's character slide to ruin despite his attempts to escape.
What movies or books do you enjoy that show the world in a different light than what people want to remember?