Video of the Day: Russian Prison Tattoos

In Russian prisons, inmates wear their criminal records on their skin. What did they do? What do their tats mean? This doc provides the coding key…

Much of this information and background was used to great effect in the now classic Russian mob film Eastern Promises with Vigo Mortenson, a special favorite of Noir Nation, even if it has the so called lapel moment, associated with films that want to keep one hand in the light, as the other hand explores the darkness.

(NB: Those familiar with the making of Double Indemnity will remember the term being used by George Raft, who considered playing the villain and asked about when the lapel moment would occur, the moment when the villain turns his lapel to show a police badge, showing he had been a good guy from the start. When told there was no such moment, Raft turned down the role.)


Status of Submissions for Noir Nation No. 3

editing noir nation 3

We are in the process of making final selections for Noir Nation No. 3. We should be done in about two weeks. For those who submitted but have not heard back from us yet with a definitive answer, it’s because your work made it to the finals. Congrats!!


Susan Claassen brings Edith Head’s noir style to life

eddie vega and susan claassen

Noir Nation editor Eddie Vega kneels before actress Susan Claassen, who played fashion designer Edith Head in a tour de force performance at the National Arts Club last week. Ms. Claassen’s one-woman show was sold out. Even long-time club members could not get in and had to watch through cracks in the doors of the adjoining parlor rooms. (She kindly sent Noir Nation this red carpet photo which we “noirized.”)

Eight-time Oscar winner Edith Head (1897-1981) designed the wardrobe used in classic film noir movies, including Double Indemnity, Sullivan’s Travels,and Rear Window. She was as much responsible for creating the look of Film Noir as the film directors, light directors, set designers, and actors who made the films. More information about Head is available by clicking here.

For more information about Susan Claassen and her show, click here to visit her Facebook fan page.


Video of the Day: ‘Vegas Was Her Name’ by Jonathan Sturak

A very cool book trailer for Vegas Was Her Name by Jonathan Sturak. We published the book earlier this year under the growing Noir Nation imprint. What’s the book about?

At the world’s largest technology convention in Las Vegas, Michael Harris, CEO of a top engineering company, debuts Venus, a humanized computer brain that can predict human behavior. He attracts international attention, including the attention of Rachel, a steamy seducer who cons Michael by concealing a secret of her own. Melissa, Michael’s wife, flies to Las Vegas to save her husband and her marriage as the events unfold in the shadows of the Las Vegas Strip.

If you work in the tech sector or have attended the CES convention in Vegas, this novel will read like it was written just for you. This book has it all, tech, crime, and the Lady in Red.

Look for her in this exciting video.



Wayne Lammer’s comedic take on the surveillance state

Although Noir is serious business — someone must get into a world of hurt, preferably in a dark place — it is also a business that encourages diversity. That diversity includes satire. Take for example Hollywood Noir: Satirical Photographs by Will Connell or films in the tradition of black humor, foremost among them Fargo, Yojimbo, and Heathers, a personal favorite.

Comedian Wayne Lammers is mining that tradition in this brilliant video about the surveillance state. It’s only going to get worse. So what do to? Laugh at it while you can. Darkly.

Video of the Day: Baltimore cop beats up teen but teen gets last laugh

Baltimore police officer Salvatore Rivieri explains to a teen skater that a “dude” is someone who works on a ranch. In his comments, he refers to the teen’s friends, who unlike the teen, have “brains in their heads.” He knows this because they are not calling him “dude.” In fact, they do have brains but not because they were intimidated into not calling him “dude.” They have brains because they were quietly videotaping the officer’s rant — so they could use it do to this:

And this did not help Officer Rivieri’s cause:

And of course, you knew this was coming:

Rivieri was granted a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the boy’s civil rights case in September 2009. But he lost his appeal over his firing in February 2011.

He is very fortunate that he beat the child in the U.S., where police are given deference by the courts and by the general public. Had he done it in, say, Pakistan, the response might have been very different:

However, social media has a way of punishing police officers who abuse children when the courts will not. We have seen some of it above with the sharing of damning videos on Youtube. But the public shaming continues on Facebook where fake accounts have been created here and here so anyone looking him up there will learn or be reminded of how he had conducted himself as a police officer.