As any armchair psychologist will tell you, our society has a bit of an obsession with violence. From local news to Hollywood, crime inspires a morbid curiosity that viewers practically object to, but can’t spurn. Personally, I grew up fearing Lifetime programming because of Unsolved Mysteries and its propensity to make every ajar cupboard suspect. While paranormal trysts and kidnapped honeymooners captivated my fledgling mind, the gruesome murder of the Clutter family drew Truman Capote to Kansas in 1959 and inspired his seminal true-crime novel In Cold Blood. Capote’s tireless research drew attention to the rural community of Holcomb, but more so to the capacity of human depravity. To stave off bone-crushing depression, here are some baby otters:
While he compiled more than 8,000 pages of notes detailing the crimes, what Capote did not know was the impact his work would have on American culture. Contemporary film lovers know of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal of Capote in 2005′s eponymous Capote, yet some near-sighted viewers may have missed the 1967 quadruple-Oscar nominated adaptation In Cold Blood. Written and directed by Richard Brooks and starring Robert Blake and Scott Wilson as the killers, the film faithfully and masterfully mirrors Capote’s novelization and the grim crimes themselves. Hailed as a classic of the true-crime genre, Brooks’ Blood continues to influence cinema today, asides from it’s premiere usage of the word “bullshit” in film.
While it hasn’t been a new release in nearly half a century, cinephiles will rejoice to learn of its impending screening at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz downtown next Sunday, July 29th. Complete with an introduction by Austin filmmaker Kat Candler, the screening will highlight the tragic, yet wholly American, fabric of modern crime. For good measure, I will leave you with a picture of a baby sloth.