robert-graham

The Knife and the Lure

A birthday gift for my darling Murder Nakama @damnslippyplanet - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOVE!

Soulmate AU: Sharing skills and talents with your soulmate.

-x-

When Will’s mother left, he had to teach himself how to cook. He wasn’t very good at it.

His father was always kind and patient. He smiled through the burnt eggs and toast, through soft overcooked carrots and too-hard spaghetti. Robert Graham had never learned how to cook himself, and the hours he worked were long, and his small son was so insistent that he do this, please Dad, you do everything else let me help.

Eventually, the meals improved a little, but not by much. Canned food became more and more of a staple - much easier to heat on the stove and hard to mess up. Sometimes Robert would catch Will sniffling in the kitchen corner.

“I can’t even chop vegetables right,” he would say, and Robert would put a hand on his knee (not hold him, Will didn’t like hugs since his mother went away) and give him a squeeze.

“But you can fish,” Robert told him, “better'n I can. You’re doing just fine, Will. Just fine.”

And Will would smile, watery but real, and pull the can opener from the drawer. Spaghetti-Os were his Dad’s favourite anyway.

Robert Graham died five years later. Too early to see Will’s sudden and strange developing skill.

He didn’t get to see Will make his first roux, perfectly and from scratch, without measuring a single one of his ingredients.

He missed the first time Will picked up a knife and began to chop peppers effortlessly, like he could do it blindfolded, like he’d been doing it for years.

He wasn’t there to taste the most perfectly cooked steak, rare - the way Robert had liked it - pink and bloody on the inside.

And he never saw the day that Will realized how he had developed such a skill, and why. Which was good, really. Will would never have wanted to break his father’s heart.


continue reading on ao3

Anti-Nazi Noir

Because we need it this year.

The Stranger- Orson Welles sports an ugly mustache to play an even uglier little nazi hiding out after the war in a small American town.  Of particular note is the dinner conversation scene; even when pretending to be a patriotic American, this man cannot conceive of any way to talk about an enemy without advocating genocide against them.  It’s a shame they didn’t have Agnes Moorehead playing the nazi hunter as Welles reportedly wanted, but small loveable Jewish Edward G. Robinson is great in the role.

Crossfire- A hit upon release, a controversy upon its success, this crime drama tells the story of an antisemitic GI who returns home and commits the same murders he’s supposedly been fighting against.  Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan and Gloria Grahame pitch in to give you one of noir’s big historical moments…and one of the inciting films for the Hollywood blacklist.

This Gun for Hire- No, this film isn’t terribly ideological, but you know what?  Sometimes you just want to watch gangsters kill nazis.  Seemingly sociopathic assassin Alan Ladd is driven, quite against his will, to care about two things- pretty stage magician Veronica Lake, and taking down the fifth columnists who betrayed him.  

Army of Shadows- You’ve heard of the French Resistance, now watch it in action.  Watch it, cry, shudder, thrill, and feel the cold chill of the wind outside your door grow just a bit colder.

Casablanca- Is it really noir?  No, not exactly.  Am I going to include it in this list?  Yes, I am.  See Casablanca.

2

“You see, I do remember it because I’d been filming in Nicaragua, in actual fact. This was the days before real internet. So we’d no idea that any of the build-up to the first film was happening. So I came across that the very night of the Premiere. I landed at Heathrow and I seen his [Ewan Mcgregor] face in all these magazines. I thought, this is something’s happening here. This is bizarre. I’ll get my sheepskin jacket. That’s what I was wearing when I came off the plane.” - Robert Carlyle on The Graham Norton Show on January 27, 2017.