Cara DeAngelis - Woman with Roadkill IV; Edward Hopper - Stairway at 48 Rue de Lille, Paris.


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Word, final

The Ngaio Marsh Awards will be held this Friday at a Word Christchurch event hosted by author and broadcaster Vanda Symon. The awards are the creation of Craig Sisterson whose determined advocacy for the crime genre continues to elevate authors in New Zealand and overseas. My novel Blue Hotel is a finalist in the Best Novel category which is a first for me: many thanks to the judges for recognising the book. To mark the occasion a new ebook edition of Blue Hotel is available in Kindle File Format and epub for the price of a song.


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Big, good Deadline interview with Ridley Scott on the eve of people complaining about Napoleon:
I think we are partly responsible for the, how do I call it, the frustration of the younger generation that goes hand in hand with the confusion of politics, and hand in hand with the devices they have at their fingertips where they can play games all day instead of climbing a f*cking tree and go for a swim in the river and even fall out the tree and break a leg occasionally. It’s all internalized entertainment.



The Killer opens like a Brian De Palma movie but turns into a David Fincher film pretty quick. Armed with a script like Zodiac or The Social Network, Fincher is one of the best filmmakers alive; the screenplay for The Killer, however, which is based on a graphic novel, can be elevated only to a certain point. I haven't read the comic version and I wonder how it tracked because the defining mechanism of the framed strip is juxtaposing emotions and a hitman story requires few – think Le Samoura├» or Point Blank.

As such, The Killer runs efficiently on grim procedural sequences and flashes of the wry humour that lightened The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011). It's a Fincher film in the class of Panic Room or Mank: a mindful workout that tests every aspect of its genre.

The narrative spans multiple international locales but feels appropriately trapped in one place. Apart from one anachronistic mention of "the cloud" it's set pre-iPhone. Much of the action is framed in mid-shot – a true relic of the 1970s. Fassbender's killer tech comprises candy bar phones, modest pursuit vehicles, chain store items, a Dadcore disguise. The narrative devices can also be purchased off-the-shelf. The Killer is standard hardware: it's reliable and it works.