Thursday, February 17, 2011

An Apartment in the City

 "I run from death, and death meets me as fast,
And all my pleasures are like yesterday."
                                                                                      John Donne, Holy Sonnet #7

(The quote that opens The Seventh Victim (1943).)

The unforgettably haunting look of Jean Brooks as
Jacqueline Gibson in Val Lewton's The Seventh Victim (1943),
the uncompromising story of a young woman who moves
to Greenwich Village and gets mixed up with a very bad
crowd (Satanists).  Made on a low b-movie budget,
The Seventh Victim is uncompromising in its depiction of
city life as lonely, alienating, and potentially violent. 

From February 14 through 21, June and Art is participating in For the Love of Film (Noir):  The Film Preservation Blogathon.  The June and Art letters are still here, but during this week they will be embellished with film noir images and other supplementary material.

Through this blogathon, over 80 bloggers are hoping to raise significant funds to support the work of the Film Noir Foundation and restore The Sound of Fury, a 1950 film noir starring Lloyd Bridges.  Please contribute to the effort by going to this link or through the donation buttons on host sites Ferdy on Films and the Self-Styled Siren.

Now here’s today’s letter from June:

Thursday, February 16, 1950

46 West 83rd Street, Apt. 7B
New York City, NY

Dear Art,

Guess where the poison is...  Director
Director Mark Robson brilliantly
builds the suspense, while
keeping everything low-key.
These nice well-dressed
people don't look like killers.
I wonder why human beings impose self tortures on themselves.  I’d so love to go home every weekend – but I won’t.  Well, I really do have reasons for staying in the city – I need to save some money (catch up to my allowance) and it’s not fair to Shirl to go home so much.  Something’s missing here in the city though, and I know what it is – I left my heart with you in Southampton.  It just doesn’t do any good to try to go home to rescue it either – if possible, another piece just chips off and remains behind.

A noose hanging in Jacqueline's
New York City apartment...  The
major artistic talent behind this
memorable film noir was Val Lewton,
 an unusually literate producer who
discovered a talent for finding the
poetry in darkness.
Have you asked Bruno if Jane Hasting’s found a job yet, or doesn’t he know?  I may as well make this a questioning paragraph:  Are you keeping up with your artwork for both Partida and this other course?  How are your parents?  And especially how are you?

I really haven’t done anything since I’ve gotten back to the city.  I’m just writing to let you know I’m here and to tell you I miss you, I miss you, I miss you.

So, please be careful, take care of yourself, and write me.  (Am I sounding bossy?)

All my love,


(Tomorrow – art lessons at night.)

© 2011 Lee Price


  1. June doesn't sound bossy at all. I think she sounds sweet.

    PS: I have got to have a Val Lewton night tonight!

  2. Well June was bossier than Art, but he was about the least bossy person imaginable!

    I love the Val Lewton movies. They're always a treat to watch.

    Any chance you could join next year's blogathon? I'd think Caftan Woman would fit in beautifully.