Shades of Noir

How film noir inspired Portishead’s album Dummy, gave novelist Karen Russell a creative breakthrough, and launched the career of composer Carter Burwell.

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About the Show

Studio 360 is a smart and surprising guide to what’s happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt introduces the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy—so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. Produced in association with Slate.

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Episode Notes

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 midcentury spy movies. Karen Russell was struggling writing her first novel when she saw the classic noir film 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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