Proscenium Glade Estates (Edge of the Pale)

from by Autographic

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“Proscenium Glade (Edge of the Pale)”
From the film Live Hard, Die Dead (1978)
Directed by Jack Lydon, Jr.

Director Jack Laydon – a New York transplant born in Spokane Washington in 1953 – had this to say of his debut film, just days before its premier at The Back-Door Cinema in 1979: “Live Hard, Die Dead is … a little bit urban, a little bit rural, and a whole lot of anger.” And he’s dead right, though we can’t help but feel he undersold the anger quotient.

“Live Hard…” is a seminal work in this scene. Setting what would become the Technoir standard for one brief but blazing decade, the film’s murder-mystery core hearkens back to the hardboiled novels of Chandler and Hammet, even as it inverts the formula and adds a healthy dose of techno-topia day dreaming. Standing in for the cynical but stalwart detectives of bygone days, chanteuse Alexandra DeNoir (touché!) smolders on screen with her severe wit and unimpeachable knack for sniffing out clues. Searching a sleepy town called Proscenium, Alexandra’s score is straightforward: find P. T. Cranley, the towns missing mayor.

Naturally complications and double-crosses turn this simple fetch quest into a nightmare of depravity and senseless violence. But at its heart, beneath hyper-real layers of magic and menace, “Live Hard…” is a character piece obsessed with a single question: “How far can you push a good woman before she pulls the trigger?”


from Technoir Classics, released October 1, 2012




Autographic Montreal, Québec

Autographic is Darby McDevitt. Sometimes other friends join in too. Darby was born in Spokane, educated in Bellingham and Dublin, and sharpened in Seattle. He now lives in Montreal where he is a Lead Writer for the Assassin's Creed series. Merci à tout le monde! ... more

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