OTTO and Annotating Films Noir

OTTO Banner Image

In a MediaCommons Post, we briefly trace the evolution and application of a powerful new video annotation platform that enables collaborative viewing and encourages cooperative, crowd-sourced criticism. This new tool, called OTTO (Open Text Tool for Online video), was first used in conjunction with a video annotation assignment in a Film Noir MOOC (taught by Richard Edwards) that generated close readings of key moments in film noir, but its potential uses extend much further: the tool could change how films and videos are taught with its capacity to simply and powerfully join critical analyses to film moments, and relate discreet analyses by source and by runtime across films that share stylistic or generic traits.  While other online video annotation tools can support participatory and collaborative viewing and reading exercises in the classroom, there are particular functions unique to, or uniquely powerful in the context of, OTTO… Read more about OTTO at our post on MediaCommons through this link 

Out of the Past's Top Ten Podcasts on Australian National Radio

Thank You Australian Broadcasting Corporation for featuring Out of the Past Podcasts on their Top of the Pods series in 2012!

ABC broadcast 10 episodes of "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" on its weekly series entitled Top of the Pods. As they say on the ABC website: "Join Robbie Buck as he presents some of the best audio to be found in the podcast universe...On Top of the Pods you can try everything and there will always be something to grab you by the ears and engage your cerebellum. Don’t trawl through trash—listen to the Top of the Pods."

We greatly enjoyed knowing that our podcast aired across Australia on one of its main radio outlets. We received wonderful feedback from Australian listeners, and we are glad we could share our thoughts on film noir down under. 

Clute and Edwards on Jules Dassin's Rififi: The Top of the Pods Broadcast

Click here for the Top of the Pods website, and to listen to the Rififi episode:


Join Out of the Past team Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards as they review Rififi, directed by Jules Dassin in France, where he'd fled after being blacklisted by Hollywood in 1949. Dassin cobbled together a small budget and a motley crew of B stars to create a heist masterpiece: the tale of a ragtag international band of thieves who use inferior tools but superior know-how to pull off the job of a lifetime. 

Clute and Edwards at the Decatur Book Festival: Labor Day Weekend 2012

Clute and Edwards have been invited to the Decatur Book Festival to discuss their book, The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism. The Decatur Book Festival is one of the largest book fests in the country. Clute and Edwards will be in a Q&A style interview with moderator Curt Holman. After the panel, they will be signing copies of their book. They will be speaking on Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 at 3:45pm at the Decatur Conference Center Auditorium. If you are in the Atlanta area, please come out and attend this wonderful event. For more information or event details, check out the festival's website at this link.

Clute and Edwards on 1948's He Walked by Night: The Top of the Pods Broadcast

Clute and Edwards are pleased to announce that the Out of the Past podcasts are being broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC Radio National, as part of their new "Top of the Pods" programming —their selection of the world's best podcasts. 

It is truly an honor to be included in this program, and a pleasure to hear the podcasts introduced by ABC host Robbie Buck.  The ABC episode show descriptions will be posted on the NOIRCAST website as the programs are broadcast in Australia, and go live on the ABC Radio National website for streaming.


The lastest episode--featuring our podcast on He Walked by Night--will begin airing August 28th, 2012. Click on this link to stream the episode. 


Here is ABC's Top of the Pods description of this episode:

Clute and Edwards Present at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood


One of the programming themes at this year's TCM Classic Film Festival is "Noir Style," and two official Club TCM presentations will be dedicated to the topic:  On Thursday, April 12, Clute and Edwards will discuss the hard-boiled literary roots and self-conscious visual style of noir with TCM senior writer/producer Scott McGee (a former guest on Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir) and sign copies of their new book, The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism (; on Friday, April 13, Founder and President of the Film Noir Foundation Eddie Muller will join actress Rose McGowan to select the cast and crew of their dream movie—the perfect film noir.  For more information on these presentations and the TCM Classic Film Festival, click here:

Clute Contributes to Mulholland Books Blog

Clute Contributes to Mulholland Books Blog:

Clute was recently invited by Mullholland Books, the suspense and crime imprint of Little, Brown and Company, to contribute a short article on hard-boiled writer extraordinaire Jim Thompson—in honor of Mulholland's new ebook releases of Thompson's novels.  For Clute's thoughts on THE GRIFTERS, and the power of Thompson's prose, click here:


Clute and Edwards Meet Retro Renaissance Man Frank DeBlase

While in Rochester, Clute and Edwards were introduced, by their friend Charles Benoit (, to pin-up photographer, hard-boiled writer, former rockabilly musician, and local radio DJ Frank DeBlase.  A retro renaissance man and a heck of a nice guy, Frank shared his many projects with Clute and Edwards, including this hard-boiled story, "Busted Valentine Part 1", beautifully illustrated by Rochester artist David Cowles:

Clute and Edwards,  2005-2012