In addition to various tours by appointment this month, Don is offering a Hammett walk open to anyone interested — Sunday November 15 at noon, ten bucks, four hours, the usual, just like it says on the Tour Page. Just show up. Noir rain or no rain, the tour is rolling.
The photo this time comes from the Flickr archives of Frank Synopsis, who walked the walk on the tour the two dames from Switzerland begged Don to lead last month — of course, they didn’t show up, but Frank and some others did, including a woman from the Czech Republic (or whatever it’s called these days) doing deep research into modern noir. Hey, even further away than Switzerland. . . . The link to Flickr will take you to Frank’s Hammett files, all kinds of shots, including different angles (and in color) on buildings you’ll see in the Dashiell Hammett Tour book. The photos from the recent tour start on the third page of the file. Plus if you want to prowl around, Frank is an Art Car enthusiast (he knew the current whereabouts of Carthedral, Don’s favorite Art Car), an Old Sign enthusiast — lots of images to gander. Which reminds us, Mike Breiding of Mike’s Epic Road Trips roamed back into the burg for a month, taking shots of naked bondage guys at the Folsom Street Fair and panoramic views from lots of hills and Land’s End — the link will take you to the review he did of Joe Donohoe’s zine Specious Species and the big interview with Don. Don’s favorite part of Mike’s blog is the obsessive interest in eating, shots of every plate ordered, usually with detailed close-ups, and the trackdown of one obscure eatery after another. If you want the vicarious thrill of having a month off and all that time to wander around San Francisco, surf over and watch Mike tackle numerous plates of food.
At the secret noir readings for Litquake last month, held in the clandestine back room of the neo-speakeasy Bourbon & Branch, Don got a chance to gab a bit with Robert Mailer Anderson, the new Keeper of the Shrine, no less than Sam Spade’s apartment in 891 Post. A native San Franciscan, Robert is taking over for Bill Arney, a tough act to follow — Bill is at least half a Knight’s Templar, he’s got the swords and everything, and a great guy. You may have seen RMA posing with the chick with pudgy arms for the poster of Eddie Muller’s Noir City 5, plus he had a story in the first San Francisco Noir anthology — point being the rooms didn’t end up with someone who wouldn’t appreciate the honor, and Robert has the resources to polish up and finish off the restoration Bill toiled on all these years. And despite being scheduled opposite James Ellroy (and, as it happened, Obama a couple of blocks away in Union Square), the place was packed, like a real speakeasy. Readings by Cara Black, Craig Clevenger, David Corbett, Peter Plate and Mr. Lucky — plus RMA read from a brand-new piece, and in the half-dark Don reverted to story-telling off the top of his head and regaled the crowd with a real life story about how the intersection of O’Farrell and Jones just outside the doors was once the Fat Whore Corner in San Francisco.
If Don heard RMA right in the hubbub, his film Pig Hunt will be showing for a few days at The Roxie during the end of October, early November. You may have been in the audience during Noir City a couple of years ago when the trailer for Pig Hunt was shown, to the dismay of the Czar of Noir. His comment went something like, “Robert, you didn’t listen to ANY of my advice!” What the hell, Don kind of liked the preview — summer action/The Most Dangerous Game variant, set in northern California — and he particularly appreciated the fact that RMA had himself decapitated fully onscreen in the trailer. If you’re going to do it, yeah, do it right. That meets one of Don’s favorite standards for rating film: The Donnie Fritz Standard. If Don were doing a blog, he’d explain.