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film

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 of their own devising, culled from smart, gruesome objectifications of heist-fiction commonplaces. They hole up inside, well, holes—coffin-size underwater caves—for forty-eight hours and twenty-five hundred claustrophobic words. Once all their dreams turn to shit, as it were, they’re forced to hide

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