Successfully working in the overlap between or among genres is easier said than done, but the potential reward matches the risk. As otherwise formulaic as they are, the Marvel movies make great hay combining the superhero genre with others. There is no dispositive reason country noir can’t be combined with other genres. But, while there are several notable examples of successfully mixing speculative elements into country noir yarns, even obviously adjacent genres like thriller and mystery have rarely been effectively paired with country noir. If you called me up (as an obvious expert on country noir), and asked if you could pair country noir with the drug novel? Absolutely. With the war novel? Sure. With romance? Um, well… But that is exactly what Nico Walker does with Cherry, adapted for release on Apple TV+. He doesn’t just pair a country noir tale with romance—he pairs it was all three give examples.Continue reading “Film: Cherry”
Today marks the 45th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War measuring from the fall of Saigon. Remarkably, the death toll from COVID-19 in the U.S. passed the death toll from the Vietnam War (58,220 by one count) this week. Jim Webb is better known around these parts for his entry in the Hillbilly Studies corpus, Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, but he also wrote a very fine war novel that draws heavily from his personal experiences in Vietnam.
Hodges, the primary protagonist in Webb’s Fields of Fire is a young, cocky lieutenant fresh out of the Naval Academy (Webb went to Vietnam as a young, cocky lieutenant fresh out of the Naval Academy). Goodrich’s experiences when he returns to Harvard are reminiscent of Webb’s experiences at Georgetown University Law Center after he returned from Vietnam, as relayed in Born Fighting.