I was going to write an in-depth post about how great my signing went last night, but I've felt like I've been hammering Vodnik a bit too hard lately, and I wanted to hold off on that and go in a different direction for today's post. (Although I will say that the reading went really well. After all the wondering which section from the book I should read, I ended up just going with the first chapter. Original, I know. Thanks to all who came, and to the Farmington Public Library and Devaney Doak & Garrett for their help!)
In any case, I'm shifting gears as I start work on a new book. My last one was a noir. The new one? I'm going with a con/heist vibe. To get ready for it, I've been rewatching a bunch of my favorite con/heist movies. Some of them are ones you've no doubt seen. Hopefully there are some that will be new to you, and you can check them out. And ideally, there are some you love that aren't on the list. I'd really like to see those--more "research." :-)
No discussion of con movies would be complete without starting with the best con movie of all time: The Sting. I've seen this movie more times than I can remember, and each time it's just a joy. The interaction between Robert Redford and Paul Newman: perfect. Robert Shaw as Lonnegan: fantastic. And the con itself is just a beauty. Many movies have tried to pull off this same effect--conning the audience at the same time they con the mark in the film. I don't think any film has done it better than this one. The plot is twisty turny, you care about the characters. It's just a flat out fantastic film, and anyone who hasn't seen it is really missing out.
You've also got the more modern Brothers Bloom, a film I saw not too long ago and really enjoyed. I need to rewatch this one to see if it holds up to repeated viewings, but at the time I saw it, I loved the whole thing. And that's saying quite a bit, since I'm not really much of an Adrien Brody fan. I don't think this movie is as universally awesome as The Sting, but for me, it was a great flick.
And then you have the wonderful Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which does both con and comedy supremely well. This is such a quotable movie (Why does Ruprecht have a cork on his fork?), and is strong enough to bear up under many viewings. Steve Martin and Michael Caine are pitch perfect throughout. Love this one.
Inception of course is a stand out, although I kind of wonder if it belongs in this list, just from the fact that it's more of a sci-fi/fantasy than the rest. Still a great movie.
Other con movies that definitely warrant discussion include Snatch (still in my memory as one of my favorite Brad Pitt roles, though I wonder if I'd still think that today), Catch Me If You Can (awesome John Willaims soundtrack, and great turns by Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio), The Spanish Prisoner (Steve Martin as a maybe bad guy? Nice!), Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is also nicely convoluted, and The Killing is noir-con at its best (and directed by Kubrik, too!)
And then you have heist movies, which have excellent representatives in Ocean's Eleven, The Italian Job, Sneakers. As I look through IMDB and other movie lists online, I realize there's a slew of these out there, and I'm skipping over quite a few that just didn't sing to me as much as others. (Matchstick Men was good, but not great for me, for example. Should I give it another shot?)What I'm really looking for is a movie that combines cons, heists, and fun--like Ocean's Eleven. Cool criminals, but not really awful people.
Okay--I've done my best to prime the pump. Now who's got some suggestions for me?