The Devil Inside: Filming Jim Thompson’s first-person pulp psychosis
Mark Ash and I co-wrote an essay on the cinematic adaptations of Jim Thompson recently for Moving Image Source. It is called "The Devil Inside: Filming Jim Thompson’s first-person pulp psychosis."
"In Jim Thompson’s America, men are born killers—they don’t have killing thrust upon them. The major forebears of Thompson’s pulp fiction, written primarily for the paperback market beginning in the 1940s and continuing until the early 1970s, were the small-town narratives of James M. Cain. But in Cain, everymen are turned into murderers by circumstance, for the sake of money or a girl; Thompson’s innovation was to turn circumstance into a psychological state. It’s not the lure of temptation or the crush of necessity that drives his protagonists to crime, but the perception of its requirement, for self-preservation or out of moral obligation."
Cullen Gallagher is a Brooklyn-based writer, musician, and curator whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Life Sentence, Moving Image Source, Bright Lights Film Journal, Beat to a Pulp, NoirCon, Crimefactory, Film Comment, The L Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Fandor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Hammer to Nail, Spinetingler, Between Lavas, Reverse Shot, and Guitar Review. He records instrumental music as Modern Silent Cinema and plays in the hardcore band Night Squad.