Who Shot Miles Archer?

Listen up, young people: The Maltese Falcon is an awesome movie, even though it is in black and white. Stop whining! See it right away: It's funny and gay and violent. Tarantino and Rodriguez, among others, are still trying to make a movie with this much style. The author of the book it's based on, Dashiell Hammett, pretty much invented the detective story as we know it, right here in San Francisco, because he lived it. With its fog and angled streets, the city itself is responsible for part of the look of film noir. So it makes perfect sense that artist Owen Smith used the famous story as the basis for his contribution to the "Art on Market Street" series. By the time you read this, Smith's work already graces the pedestrian side of the kiosks between Embarcadero and Van Ness. For extra Falcon-ness, local history buff Don Herron leads his long-running Dashiell Hammett Tour, which visits the still-there offices of the main characters as well as the author's favorite restaurant, which recently had its dingus stolen. If you don't know what that means, go watch the movie or read the book. Herron's tour, which also features Smith, stops for artist talks at the kiosks.
Sat., June 28, 1 p.m., 2008

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