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.  …

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...…

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 internat

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. …

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.  …

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 (

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 on Rochester Public Radio with Bob Smith

During their visit to the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY (see previous post) Clute and Edwards were invited to appear on Public Radio WXXI.  With host Bob Smith, they spent the noon hour discussing all things noir: the great actors and directors of the genre; the hard-boiled literary and German Expressionistic visual origins of noir; the greatest films of the classic period of noir (1941-1958) and the many neo-noir styles that continue to inspire filmmakers in Hollywood and abroad; noir's influence on television; and much more.  …

Clute and Edwards Visit the George Eastman House

Clute and Edwards Visit the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York:

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(Photo caption: Edwards (l.) and Clute (r.) prepare to view a rare 1921 3D test in the George Eastman House film archive.)

March 6-8, 2012: Clute and Edwards visited the incredible George Eastman House motion picture collection (, where their host Jared Case treated them to some of the treasures in the Eastman archive, including a 1921 3D test by Crespinel using a blue/green technique, a 1926 two-strip Technicolor short featuring Martha Graham and her dance troop, entitiled THE FLUTE OF KRISHNA (at a time when film and theater director Rouben Mamoulian was Head of the Drama Department at the Eastman School of Design), and several other rarities. …

Clute and Edwards,  2005-2012