Robert Polito

  • Michael Winterbottom’s The Killer Inside Me

    IN THAT GHOST WORLD WHERE, as Godard proposed, all anyone needs for a movie is a girl and a gun, what about Jim Thompson, at once the acknowledged master of American noir and the crime writer whose novels have most obdurately resisted translation to cinema? Consider, for instance, these Thompson girl-and-gun scenarios—how would you film them?

    SCENARIO A: A pair of genial crooks, Carter “Doc” McCoy and his wife, Carol, stage the spectacular robbery of a Beacon City bank, only to find their caper unraveling. They flee across the Mexican border to El Rey, tumbling through a trapdoor into hell—a hell

  • PAINTER OF PICTURES: MANNY FARBER

    Few critics have written on cinema with the verve and dexterity of Manny Farber, whose essays have garnered a cult following—particularly among fellow film critics. In 1977 Farber bade farewell to writing to devote his energies fully to his painting (a retrospective of which is scheduled for fall 2003 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego), but the connection between his pursuits is a marked aspect of his work as an artist. In December Artforum and the New School Writing Program cosponsored a tribute to Farber. Here Robert Polito, the evening's moderator, provides an overview of the