[Barbie Wilde is a Canadian actress and writer, perhaps best known for appearing as the Female Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II — the second of eight Hellraiser films based on Clive Barker’s novella, The Hellbound Heart. She recently contributed a short story entitled “Sister Cilice” to Hellbound Hearts, an anthology of horror fiction.]
Why I love Noir and Noir Nation
By Barbie Wilde
Why do I love Noir? Well, you can’t get any sassier, smarter and succinct than the Noir tales that will always stand out in my mind: classics like The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, The Big Sleep and Murder My Sweet (filmed as Farewell, My Lovely) by Raymond Chandler and Kiss Me Deadly by Mickey Spillane. I’m also a big Jim Thompson fan: the harrowing, but brilliant The Killer Inside Me is a particular favorite, along with The Getaway
I love the strong, muscular writing that wastes no time on rambling descriptions, yet somehow always manages to set the scenes so brilliantly. The hardboiled guys, the femme fatales, the eroticism, the cruelty, the crimes, the gallows humor, the plots twists that have more hairpin curves than the infamous Lombard Street in San Francisco – what’s not to love?
Of course, I also adore the movies that these stories spawned and they are the ones that truly informed my youth, along with the Sci-Fi horror greats like The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), The Thing From Another World (1951), The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and The Haunting (1963). And even though they are horror movies, they still possess the striking black and white photography and tired cynicism of Noir.
I would say that all the books and films named above influenced me as a writer. My first dark crime novel, The Venus Complex, is even written in the First Person, as I wanted to make sure that there would be no escape from the inky abyss of my “hero’s” mind as he happily plans his “dating by murder” escapades.
Readers enter into Micheal’s world through the pages of his personal journal, where every diseased thought, disturbing dream, politically incorrect rant and sexually explicit murder highlights his journey from zero to . . . psycho.
Apart from my acting and writing, staying current on the latest news and information about crime fiction and film noir, is critical to moving forward as an artist. Equally important, is having a sense of community, of sharing with others who care about the same things I do.
That is what I think Noir Nation is doing, building a sense of community — and ready acceptance — among people coming from different professional disciplines — writing, filmmaking, photography, graphic arts — as they try to connect with their audiences.
It helps tremendously that they are reaching out to the world not just through the Noir Nation magazine and blog, but also through their increasingly popular Facebook fan page, where anyone can post about what they are reading, watching or creating. As for me, I visit the fan page regularly because it tells me everything that’s going on that every noir aficionado needs to know.
And it should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with its covers and illustrations, the art work is awesome.