he was difficult


Watching the video clip, my heart raced. I’d seen the movie before, of course, but never realized what I was looking at: there, in the background of “Double Indemnity,” was Raymond Chandler. His appearance in the movie he’d help script had gone unnoticed for 55 years, until two separate researchers pointed him out in 2009. And there he was in a hallway as Fred MacMurray walked past, cigarette in hand, reading. Chandler is one of Los Angeles’ greatest writers, but his death in 1959 came before he was much captured on film — this was the first time I’d ever seen him move. It was like history had opened up and I’d reached through a window of time, seen him alive instead of as a name on the spine of a book. With Chandler, I’m always looking to connect, to create a narrative line — because while it’s both inspiring and intimidating, we have something in common: our birthday, July 23.

more from Carolyn Kellogg at the LA Times here.