I’ve shilled for genres big and small, appreciated or not, and Country Noir (as one of its main proponents, Daniel “author of Winter’s Bone” Woodrell labeled it back in 1996) is certainly one of the least-appreciated. Noir never left us, obviously, it just shed it’s outer skin of San Francisco, smokey rooms and Private Dicks with hot secretaries. All the cliches Raymond Chandler’s hardcore fans continue to embrace. Beyond the sheltering walls of cities, with their plumb angles and functional social structures (however corrupt they may or may not be) lies a world of violent crime, inveterate lying, and shameless acts of complete degradation. All in the name of catching what your average supercriminal (whether in Metropolis, Gotham or Wall Street) would consider financial table scraps – barely enough to blow your nose with, let alone improve your life. You think your life sucks because you lacked money…? NO! WRONG ANSWER!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Sorry. Didn’t mean to yell. But films that genuinely get to me are rare and special treats now, after years of facing down the New Release fire hose every week from late-May until late-December. I missed Killer Joe‘s first run because it didn’t have one, and it didn’t have one because the MPAA slapped it with a NC-17 – the Kiss of Death for any film hoping to screen in a US theaters. Most refuse to run NC-17-rated films flat-out, fearing the wrath of outraged, Puritanical assholes…like the ones who run the MPAA rating’s board. Director William Friedkin refused to cut this down for them, immediately earning my respect. “To get an R rating,” he said to Rope of Silicon,
“I would have had to destroy it in order to save it and I wasn’t interested in doing that…The ratings board says no child under the age of 17 can see an NC-17 picture even accompanied by their parent. So they are telling parents what they can and cannot expose their children to. And who the hell are they?” Continue reading Killer Joe (2011)