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Crime Wave

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LA's favorite modern noir writer, James Ellroy, left our city a while back for the midwest. We're not sure why, since his stories — The Black Dahlia, LA Confidential — are so connected to our city's dark side. Lucky for us he's come back for a visit. James Ellroy will be kicking off the American Cinemathque's 8th annual Noir Festival Friday night.

Ellroy will speak and answer quesitons between the two films at opening night's double feature. You'll be watching one of his favorites, Crime Wave, starring deadpan antihero Sterling Hayden and Between Midnight and Dawn ("The shoot-to-kill story of a patrol car!"). Both movies are set in LA, and neither is available on DVD.

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If you've never read Ellroy's breakthrough book The Black Dahlia, there's still time to dig in before the star-laden movie opens later this year. Or you could ask him about it tomorrow night: tickets to the Noir Festival opening night are still available.