Thursday, February 27, 2014

Old Is The New New: TWIN PEAKS

Starting Monday, March 3rd, Criminal Element is going to be running my series of episode-by-episode TWIN PEAKS "rewatches"--something of a misnomer since, in fact, I've never watched the show before.

Here's part of what I wrote for the kickoff announcement over at Criminal Element:

How have I managed to go this long without seeing a series as heralded as TWIN PEAKS a show that pretty much defines the notion of “cult television,” a show by one of the oft proclaimed geniuses of cinema? Well, for one thing I was a kid when it first came out. When the pilot episode was broadcast in April of 1990, I was fourteen years old and, in all honesty, that year I was far more excited that The Flash had his own show.

Which, I admit, still doesn’t explain why I haven’t caught up to the show in the subsequent twenty-four years. The answer to that conundrum is that I’ve never been a huge David Lynch fan. Once I stopped watching television shows about superheroes and turned my attention to cinema, I went in pretty hard for the old stuff: noir, Westerns, sixties European art cinema. By the time I got around to Lynch, my taste had formed in other directions. That’s not to say that I don’t admire David Lynch. I like parts of many of his films, and I love all of MULLHOLLAND DRIVE and THE STRAIGHT STORY But that’s about as far as I’ve gone with him. Which makes me the perfect man for this job. I come to TWIN PEAKS as someone who likes, but doesn’t love the cinema of David Lynch. I come as an admirer, but not a true believer.

Over the years, I’ve gone out of my way to steer clear of TWIN PEAKS—for fear of learning too much and spoiling the discovery of the show itself. I could easily avail myself of the answers to its mysteries with the click of a few buttons, but, then again, I could also ruin the end of pretty much every novel ever written, if I wanted to do so. I’ve always suspected that TWIN PEAKS might hold far more enjoyment in its mysteries than in its questions. So come with me as I make my first trip to Twin Peaks, Washington. Let’s see what there is to see.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Long Wait Of Norman Foster

I want to re-post a link to my piece on the director Norman Foster. Although Foster is best remembered today for being the director for JOURNEY INTO FEAR, the Orson Welles production most hacked apart by RKO, in recent years some film geeks have been rediscovering the director. Which is good news because Foster was a talented man who made significant contributions to classic film noir and Mexican cinema. 

I'm re-posting the article in honor of a showing of Foster's excellent Burt Lancaster noir KISS THE BLOOD OFF MY HANDS at the Patio Theater here in Northwest Chicago tomorrow night. I'm thrilled to finally be able to see this on the big screen. Watching it on scratchy bootlegs over the years, I've always hoped to see it projected. If you're in the Chicago area 2/26/14 this is the place to be. Only $5, and the Patio is a big, lovely old theater. 

Here's my article The Long Wait of Norman Foster over at Bright Lights Film Journal.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Crimespree Interview

I did an interview with Tim Hennessy over at Crimespree Magazine. We cover a lot of topics including: HELL ON CHURCH STREET, THE POSTHUMOUS MAN, SAINT HOMICIDE, growing up in the south, the greatness of Bogart, and the terrible beauty of dying of a snake bite.

You can read it all here. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Coop's Last Ride: THE HANGING TREE (1959)

I'm starting a new series of articles over at Criminal Element called The Cowboy Rides Away. I'll look at the final Western of each of the great stars of the genre. First up, my favorite cowboy of them all, the great Gary Cooper.

I've written about Coop before, but this is the first time I've written about his final oater, the dark and interesting THE HANGING TREE, directed by (the quite underrated) Delmer Daves. 

Give it a read and let me know what you think. 

Monday, February 3, 2014


My new novella SAINT HOMICIDE is now available on Kindle. You can also get the print version exclusively through the good folks at Crime Factory Publications.

Some smart people with good taste have had nice things to say about the book. I've quoted some of these folks in other places, but just to give you a taste: Jon Bassoff, author of CORROISON said, "Religious fanaticism intersects with the American underbelly in this stunning novella by Jake Hinkson. SAINT HOMICIDE is populated with wounded people, both physically and spiritually. In lesser hands, the reader would simply look away from the grotesqueness, but Hinkson is too good for that. He forces us to look, forces us to reckon with the desperation. A masterpiece."

I mean...hell, now I want to read it.