Sunday, April 06, 2008

NoirCon Day Three

Finally sitting down in front of my laptop. The last few days I've been blogging from my phone and let's just say that leaves a lot to be desired. While I'm loving my iPhone, the typing interface makes me feel like I have boxing gloves on.

Day Three at NoirCon was my favorite so far and that's not just because I got to speak in front of the crowd both at the Society Hill Playhouse and at the Philadelphia International Film Festival. Truth be told, neither one was much of a full house when I was speaking -- the morning crowd at NoirCon was a little on the light side after some heavy duty partying on the night of Day Two. Likewise, the screening tonight wasn't too packed either. And... in the interest of full disclosure... I wasn't very eloquent and was outshone easily by my compatriots; Howard Rodman and Eddie Muller.

Howard had the group roaring at times as he regaled them with tales of his days on "Fallen Angels". A terrific public speaker, he moved from recollection to joke and back with ease. Meanwhile, I only elicited a few moans with my corny banter. The same went for tonight when I was completely flummoxed during my introduction to Eddie Muller. I thought of ten clever things to say afterwards. Nothing close to clever came out of my mouth during the time in which I spoke.

While those things didn't go so well for me (though the events themselves were a success in spite of my presence), today was finally the day that I managed to come out of my protective cocoon a little bit and talk to more than just the handful of folks that I had met last year at GoodisCon. I actually walked up to a few strangers and started conversations without bursting into flames or speaking in tongues (two of my greatest fears). This even lead to a great dinner over Afghani food with Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards of We bullshitted about movies, comic books, and other geeky subjects. It was a blast (and not of silence).

CyberNoir Panel

Day Three wasn't all about me, of course. Today had some great panels including a discussion of gender roles in Noir, a discussion of Noir in the 21st Century (see above paragraph), tributes to Jim Thompson, Donald Goines, Georges Simenon, and some real "characters" that festival organizer Lou Boxer has a knack for finding. Along with reporter Gil Raevill--whose book Aftermath Inc has already been ordered (it's on for 76% off the cover price at the moment)--Day Three also played host to two other gentlemen, Frank Bender and William Fleisher, who both spun some incredible tales under the guise of discussing the Vidocq society. While they never got to why they named it "Vidocq," I'm sure that 95% of the audience probably got the reference to the French detective.

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