Friday, November 19, 2021

Blood Of The Vines - There Are 8 Million Stories...

Pairing‌‌‌ ‌‌‌wine‌‌‌ ‌‌‌with‌‌‌ ‌‌‌movies!‌‌‌  ‌‌‌See‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌hear‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌fascinating‌‌‌ ‌‌‌commentary‌‌‌ ‌‌‌for‌‌‌ ‌‌‌these‌‌‌ ‌‌‌‌‌movies‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌many‌‌‌ ‌‌‌more‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌at‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌From‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Hell.‌‌‌  This week, we head to the East Coast to take a bite out of the Big Apple.  Here are three films which deal with NYC's gritty, noirish image - with wine pairings for each.

Just one of those famously mentioned eight million stories was this one, 1948's The Naked City.  The film follows around a New York detective as he tries to solve a murder.  The famously mentioned tag line - "There are eight million stories in the naked city.  This has been one of them" - was also used in the television series adapted from the movie.

Like any good police procedural, The Naked City mixes in some exciting cops'n'robbers action with the tedium that is detective work.  Jack Webb would later boil out most of the excitement for Dragnet, which centered on the boredom of a police officer's workaday life.

The Naked City was directed by Jules Dassin, who would later be a victim of the Hollywood blacklist.  He exiled himself to Europe, where his career continued.  Today he is noted as a top director of crime drama.  The Naked City was well received at the time of its release, a box office hit - and is regarded now as a fine example of film noir.

If you are ever in Seattle, you can stop in to the Naked City Brewery and Taphouse, which borrows a noirish gangster silhouette for its logo.  An Australian Naked City Wine has left us, unfortunately, letting its trademark lapse into bureaucratic red tape.  The Naked Wines club may get you a little too involved, but it does sound like a good deal.  However, when have you heard a sales pitch that makes the product sound like a bad deal?

The Killer That Stalked New York came out in 1950, a couple of years after a magazine article scared everybody stiff about the possible effect of a smallpox outbreak in the Big Apple.  A diamond thief returns from Cuba and starts infecting everyone she encounters.  Officials try to get everyone vaccinated - uh oh - but the demand is so high they run out of doses.  Wait, what?  Everyone wanted the vaccine?  This movie must have been mislabeled as film noir instead of fantasy.  The guvmint ain’t gonna tell me whether I can have smallpox or not!

There were some stories a few years back that resveratrol - an ingredient in red wine - might be able to stem the growth of pox viruses.  That, along with all the other wonderful effects supposedly found in resveratrol is, for me, a good enough reason to raise a glass.  

If you have a hard time swallowing the idea of a vaccine that is universally desired, maybe you'd like Pessimist, from Paso Robles' Daou Vineyards.  The blend of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Syrah and Grenache probably has enough resveratrol in it to give a semi-medical benefit to the sipper.  Hold on, there - now ya tryin’ ta put the vaccine in mah wine? Imma have to switch back to Bud Light - or mebbe try that White Claw that I stumble over in the store.

1960's Blast of Silence was a movie of many hats.  The director also wrote it and starred in it; the producer was the cinematographer.  I heard that the gaffer also gave his opinion on the lighting, which may be a union problem.  

The movie is about a hitman with mental problems - as opposed to a normal, well-adjusted hitman.  He has a job to do in NYC, but he rambles around his hometown for awhile before getting down to business.  I always thought hitmen tried to lay low, but this guy makes new friends, runs into old flames and generally gets around town a lot for a man who wants to be invisible.  He also tries to get his bosses to release him from the gig - good luck with that, buddy.

If you are a gamer, you might enjoy Hitman 3, the highest level of which is called Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina.  Seems that many not-so-well-adjusted players are using the game to put people in the wine press.  Now that makes a full-bodied red.  There are a number of urban wineries in New York, but how many of them could be called "gritty?"  Not many, I'm guessing.  At least Brooklyn Winery is said to have a "speakeasy vibe."  

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