Sunday, December 20, 2015

Announcing "It’s Okay With Me: Hollywood, The 1970s, and the Return of the Private Eye"

So, good news: I’m writing another book.

I’m very happy to announce I’ve signed up to do another book with The Critical Press, who put out my last tome, Richard Pryor: American Id. (What’s that? You haven’t picked it up yet? I’ll just leave this here.) Working with Tom and Alex and that crew was really a terrific experience, the best I’ve yet had on a book, so I was anxious to get another one out on this excellent imprint.

 It’s an idea I’ve been nurturing for a little while, since seeing Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, and contemplating it not as a book adaptation or a private eye movie, but specifically as a ‘70s private eye movie – and realizing how many great detective movies were released in that era. It’s perhaps my favorite decade of American cinema (hot take, I know), but one that’s been sort of chronicled to death. As I thought about these particular films, however, I realized that delving into this specific area of ‘70s cinema was one way I could write about the period in a new and (hopefully) interesting way, considering how many of them told us something about both the New Hollywood movement and the wider culture they were borne out of, and frequently influenced.

Thus, It’s Okay With Me: Hollywood, The 1970s, and the Return of the Private Eye will, in a series of essays, tackle the late ‘60s table-setters (Harper, Marlowe, Tony Rome), the traditional star vehicles (The Drowning Pool, Shamus), the Marlowes (Farewell My Lovely, The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye), the political pictures (The Big Fix, Chinatown), the downbeat groundbreakers (Night Moves, Hickey and Boggs), and, of course, Shaft.

I’m very excited about it—about writing the book, of course, and exploring why anti-authoritarian outsiders were so attractive to filmmakers at that particular moment. But I’m enjoying watching all these movies, most again, some for the first time.

Publication date is still TBD, but it should land somewhere in the first quarter of 2017. I’ll probably mention it a time or two before then.

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