Wednesdays at the Somerville, crime pays double
According to my research, the term “hard-boiled” was first used in a non-dairy context by Mark Twain in 1886, to describe compassionless and otherwise emotionally callous characters. I picked the pictures in this series, in part, because it feels like crime stories these days have been shunted off into interminable podcasts, or worse – prestige television miniseries that drag out for ten hours when they should have been 90-minute movies. But mostly I chose them because I miss dames and doomed private dicks and one-last-jobs that inevitably fall apart. As such stories go, I feel like the ideal format corresponds to English philosopher Thomas Hobbes’ description of life as “nasty, brutish and short.” I think you’ll agree these fourteen films fit the bill.
– Sean Burns, film critic and series curator