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On Curtis Hanson: 'He Was a Voyeur, He Was a Camera'


I wrote a piece for Variety on my friend Curtis Hanson:

Curtis Hanson’s gaze was ever deferential to the art of film itself. His films explore and never explode. Even his heartbreak unfolds in restraint. There is a debit and credit sheet here. The viewer flails for emotional coherence and fails to find it. The viewer comes away with a sense of life deftly observed. Voyeur, filmmaker, observer — the most circumspect man I’ve ever met. Curtis Hanson was a camera above all else.

Marlon James' Great American Novel: None (with an 'American Tabloid' asterisk)

Marlon James, Los Angeles Times

So while the whole idea of a great anything is pointless and even potentially harmful, if were you to put a gun to my head, or threaten my never to be born children, I would nominate James Ellroy’s “American Tabloid.” Because Noir may have been America’s greatest cultural invention, even if she might not have invented it. Because American Tabloid is the only novel I’ve read so far that realizes that the crucial moments in history are made by people who never make the history books. It’s the rare novel to liberate American outcast language, Jazz talk, street talk, junkie talk, faggot talk, whore talk, and dare to position them as a new canon. And it is that American novel that realized before we did, that our American dream was somebody else’s nightmare.

Secret Histories | James Ellroy’s “LAPD ’53” is Crime Noir Supreme


Miss Rosen, writing for Crave says "Ellroy never fails to tell it like it is."

Movie Version of ‘Blood’s A Rover’ to Start Filming by Year End

Deadline Hollywood

The Mark Gordon Company will produce and finance an adaptation of Blood’s A Rover, the 2009 crime novel by L.A. Confidential author James Ellroy. A script has been written by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby, who were Oscar nominated for Children of Men and scripted Iron Man. Gordon will produce with Vincent Sieber — whose Midnight Road Entertainment developed the script with the scribes — and Clark Peterson. The film’s being packaged to shoot at year’s end with Sara Smith overseeing for Gordon.

'The Black Dahlia' Graphic Novel adaptation to be released in June

L.A. Times English version of "The Black Dahlia" adaptation will be released in June. The graphic novel will be published by Archaia, an imprint of Boom! Studios. The cover of the new English hardcover edition will feature a brand new image by Hyman.

James Ellroy, The Master of Mayhem, Moves in on the Mile High City


On a quiet Monday night at Elway’s Cherry Creek, it’s hard to miss James Ellroy. A trim six-three, clean-domed and fond of Hawaiian shirts, eyes blazing, he’s easily the most animated talker in the room. He’s not particularly loud or demonstrative, but he is passionate, holding forth on love and death and popular culture while attacking a slab of prime rib.

James Ellroy finds real crime-scene photographs from LAPD in 1953

British Journal of Photography

Interview in the British Journal of Photography by Austin Collings

LAPD ’53, is an absurdly comic and hypnotic display of magical memory that is neither history as fiction nor history as non-fiction but something altogether different and more aggressively poetic. Aided by Martin, who served on the LAPD from 1982 to 2002, he has meticulously sifted through the Los Angeles Police Museum archive and curated a selection of powerful crime-scene photographs taken throughout the City of (fallen and bloody) Angels in 1953. The themes are familiar: murder, manslaughter, suicide and home invasions. The format is less familiar.

Knopf Turns 100

Women's Wear Daily

Report from Alfred A. Knopf’s 100th anniversary party on Thursday night at Astor Hall in the main branch of The New York Public Library.

James Ellroy calls Denver, Alamo Drafthouse home for new film series

Denver Post

The celebrated crime-fiction author is setting up shop in the Mile High City, and talking smack about John Elway.

Q: So why did you move to Denver from L.A.?
Personal reasons. And guess what? It ain't L.A. And guess what? I love it. It's a more wholesome and altogether amenable place than L.A., and I like cold weather.

Obsessed with crime drama? From the makers of Total Film and SFX comes brand new quarterly magazine Crime Scene, celebrating the very best in crime on TV and in books and film

Brand new crime magazine bags exclusive Sherlock stuff, James Ellroy, Steven Moffat on Columbo and much more…

The issue with the Ellroy interview isn't available online, but there are print and digital editions.

The Gutter of Babel

Perfidia will be published in Poland in September, Hungary in October, and Greece in early 2016.

Is True Detective season 2 a James Ellroy rip-off?

The Telegraph

“The second series of HBO’s acclaimed drama True Detective has met a lukewarm reception from fans since airing in June; now viewers are accusing it of borrowing some of its distinctive features from the crime writer James Ellroy.

A Reddit thread begun on July 11 points out many alleged similarities of the show to the work of Los Angeles-based author James Ellroy, specifically his four novels known as the ‘LA Quartet’, the best known of which is 1990's LA Confidential, which was made into a 1997 film starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger.

LAPD ’53 fourth week on L.A.TIMES bestseller list

L.A. Times

See Los Angeles’ Rough Past With Crime Author James Ellroy


“It was 1953. Eisenhower was in the white house. The New York Yankees won the World Series for the fifth year consecutively. The theme music for the television series, “Dragnet,” rose to the top of the Billboard charts. It was also the year that Los Angeles had a record number of homicides—and more than twice as many suicides.”

We Talked to the Godfather of Crime Fiction, James Ellroy, About the Dark Days of the LAPD


“We called up Ellroy at the Los Angeles Police Museum where the author, who speaks with same shit-talking, machine-gun wit as his characters, was in pugnacious form. We asked him whether poring over sixty-year-old photos of mutilated corpses got his creative juices flowing, whether LA is still a ‘perv zone’ and if he really thinks that the American police can go on without reform after the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and so many others.”

NOIR CITY 6—James Ellroy Intro to Dalton Trumbo Doublebill

The Evening Class

“With arms akimbo and legs planted firmly apart, James Ellroy delivered a hardboiled (and hilarious!) introduction to Noir City's doublebill of ‘Gun Crazy’ (1950) and ‘The Prowler’ (1951), both written by the infamously-blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Not only is Trumbo the uncredited screenwriter on The Prowler—screened at Noir City in a sprarkling new restoration print—but his voice can be heard as the voice of John Gilvray, the night-time radio DJ.”

True Crime

We Heart

“1953 was a hell of a year for the Los Angeles Police Department. The bodies piled up: liquor store robberies gone bad, crazed spouses and cheating lovers, gang wars, back alley brawls and straight-up, cold-blooded killing. This was a decade that saw L.A.’s population boom, with suburban migration creating an inner-city vacuum that sucked in the worst elements. Those left behind who remained on the right side of the law, and the well-to-do in the new neighbourhoods trying to beat back danger on their doorsteps, relied on the LAPD to meet fire with fire…”

R.J. Cutler Takes On James Ellroy Memoir My Dark Places

Deadline Hollywood

EXCLUSIVE: RJ Cutler, the maker of documentaries The September Issue and The World According to Dick Cheney who stepped into narrative film with If I Stay, has signed on to direct and co-write My Dark Places. That’s the memoir by L.A. Confidential author James Ellroy that focuses on the 1958 murder of his mother and Ellroy’s attempt to re-investigate some 36 years later, in 1994.

Also note coverage in “The Dissolve.”

Win a Perfidia signed screen print

Entertainment Focus

To celebrate the release of Perfidia, the latest crime noir novel from the creator of L.A Confidential, James Ellroy, we’ve [“Entertainment Focus”] got 5 exclusive screen printed posters of the original cover artwork signed by the author to give away! If that wasn’t enough, we’re also throwing in 5 paperback copies of the novel just in time for the summer holidays.

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James Ellroy and Glynn Martin Discuss Their New Crime Book

Eddie Kim, L.A. Downtown News

“DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it’s even better when paired with the razor-sharp prose of James Ellroy.

That seems to be the philosophy behind LAPD ’53 (Abrams Books). The book is a collection of gritty crime scene photos taken by Los Angeles Police Department officers over the course of 1953. Alongside those images are short stories by Ellroy, whose books include L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia. LAPD ’53 seamlessly melds facts with speculation and color straight from the novelist’s imagination.”

“He completely captures the LAPD crime scene”

La Cañada

“After combing through the photo archives of the police museum, Ellroy discovered that 1953 featured the most unusual and striking imagery of the extensive collection and was inspired to write 25,000 words of text that illuminate L.A.'s underbelly and the controversial law enforcement practices of the time.”

Great Conversations: James Ellroy

Alex Simon, Huffington Post

“I interviewed James Ellroy, the great American noir novelist, at LA's venerable Pacific Dining Car in April 2001. We were there to discuss his latest book, The Cold Six Thousand, but wound up tackling a myriad of subjects over our three hour lunch. Ellroy sported a snappy fedora that I said would have looked great on Meyer Lansky. He barked a laugh and removed it, displaying his bald pate. When he looked at my full head of 33 year-old hair, his eyes narrowed: ‘That thing on your head real or a rug?’ ‘Real,’ I replied. Ellroy exhaled for what seemed like a full minute, then murmured: ‘Cocksucker.’ We were off and running.”

Destination morgue: James Ellroy spills LA's crime scene secrets – in pictures

The Guardian

The Guardian has some great photos from LAPD '53 along with commentary.

Los Angeles crime scenes in 1953


For a taste of Ellroy's collaboration with the Los Angeles Police Museum on LAPD '53, visit this image gallery at CNN.

Video Interview with France 24's Encore!

France 24

A must-see video as Ellroy opens up to Encore's Mariam Saab about starting over three decades into his literary career, the blurred lines between reality and fiction and the real love of his life.