Shades of noir

August 22, 2019

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Beth Gibbons of Portishead performs in 1997.

Beth Gibbons of Portishead performs in 1997.


jeremy sutton-hibbert/Alamy Stock Photo

When noir haunts and inspires. Portishead’s seminal album “Dummy,” which came out 25 years ago this week, was inspired by the band members’ obsession with mid-century spy movies. Karen Russell was struggling writing her first novel when she saw the classic thriller “The Night of the Hunter.” It helped her pull off the critically acclaimed “Swamplandia!” and has been an inspiration ever since. And Kurt Andersen talks with Carter Burwell, who has scored most of the Coen Brothers films, beginning with their first, the very noirish “Blood Simple.”

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