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Sepiatone

That's ONE way to put it I've not heard before...

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Right. There are never just two camps when it comes to anything. Unless those camps are the informed and the uninformed.

:blink:

George Frazier and Muhammad Ali. The Thrilla in Manila. '75. How many other boxers were in the ring with them contending for the title?

What are the two largest political parties in the US Congress?

How many Gods and how many Satans are in the Christian bible? Are there multiple heavens and multiple hells in that book? Or just one of each?

'Two camps in a debate' comes to the fore gazillions of times in human discourse.

You guys sure pick some strange loose-ends to pounce on.

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Although this is highly unlikely...

It's as if the writer of The Bad Seed (William March)

took the savage and cruel Sam Wilde (Lawrence Tierney) character from Born to Kill...

and minted the Rhoda Penmark character..

Changed the gender and age.

However, Rhoda was adroit at manipulation and..hid her crazy

For awhile.

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6 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

There seems to be a lot of disagreement over what the definition of noir is. I saw this documentary on PBS a few years ago and enjoyed it very much. For me personally, I use it when deciphering if something is noir or not.

 

I don't think there should be any real agreement about the term. Noir is seldom presented in its purest form in movies. Elements are depicted. Usually suggesting shades of moral (or immoral?) ambiguity.

It's not a genre by itself, though some people try to box it up that way. 

It should be a flexible enough term that it can be perceived and defined in multiple ways. My view. 

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I'm upset that I haven't had more people clicking "like" on my two Rhodas post. Come on, people, get with it! :)

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JamesJazzGuitar wafted:

Nope not buying that line.   I see more then only two camps on this forum.    Anyhow have at it. 

Just FYI, thanks to the powers of TCM's power search function, here's where I gained my opinion from. (Do you mind if I continue to hold on to my opinion? Thanks)

link to thread:

https://tinyurl.com/yah3ffcj
 

Quote

 

CigarJoe intimated:

If you are going to make a Western you pretty much have a check list you need six shooters, horses, cattle,  wagons, indians, cavalry, false front towns, steam engines, gunfighters, saloon girls, sheriffs, etc., etc. Noir didn't have a genre check list. 

 

Thus, I replied to him with about 6-7 reasons why I don't believe his characterizing my position as  'checklist'-based,  correctly sums up my platform.

The term 'check list' thus became a convenient, shorthand tag for several posts thereafter.

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47 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

:blink:

George Frazier and Muhammad Ali. The Thrilla in Manila. '75. How many other boxers were in the ring with them contending for the title?

What are the two largest political parties in the US Congress?

How many Gods and how many Satans are in the Christian bible? Are there multiple heavens and multiple hells in that book? Or just one of each?

'Two camps in a debate' comes to the fore gazillions of times in human discourse.

You guys sure pick some strange loose-ends to pounce on.

Yes,  it is common for people to frame issues into binary camps and view them from that perspective.   I view this as non-nuanced and pedestrian.    But yea many like to be lemmings.   

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

I think I may have figured out the crux of the biscuit, as to what all this arguing on this thread is all about. (Sepiatone, look ye what ye have wrought !)

It's partly about the use of the word "noir". "Noir", as we all know, is a French word meaning "dark", also "black". And those French film critics in the 50s coined the term "film noir" to refer to that certain kind of American crime film that was "dark", both in terms of its visual appearance and cinematography, and its thematic content.

But a lot of people are now using the word "noir" to refer to any kind of "darkness" in any kind of movie. And many comments here, by many posters, have pointed out the "dark" elements in films that are not usually associated with the original (as in those French film critics) definition of film noir.

So, I think what's causing disagreement and confusion is, people who say that any story or film that includes some elements of "darkness" could be called a "noir". And many, many movies - perhaps most - feature aspects of "darkness", or evil, or at least, bad, disturbing things, in their narratives. In fact, short of one of those early Dick Powell musicals and the like, most films have something "bad" or "dark" in them. This could be a crime (not necessarily murder, but maybe...), or a nasty /evil character trying to bring about the fall of someone, or mental illness, or even a suggestion of the supernatural (as in the great ghost movie, The Innocents).

Yes, many, maybe most, movies worth watching contain a narrative that includes some kind of "darkness". The problem, I think, is that a lot of people want to say that any film with "darkness" (as just stated, whether in a character or a crime or some otherwise "disturbing" aspect) is a "noir", or "contains elements of noir". It's just substituting the word "noir" for "darkness" or even "evil".

I have no problem with acknowledging that many films, (some mentioned here on this thread) have a "darkness" to them, that they explore various aspects of the badness that exists in the world, and in the human heart. It's just a matter of terminology, or what word they want to use to indicate these films have those elements. And since "noir" means "dark", they're pleased to apply that word to those movies. Movies which in my opinion may very well have "darkness" or a narrative element of wickedness or violence in some way, but do not fall under the label (for lack of a  better word) of what I regard to be "film noir".

Ah, so narcissistic and obnoxious to quote oneself ! I know. But I wanted to give an example of what I mean by people simply substituting the word "noir" for "evil" or "darkness", and then applying that word ("noir") to any story that has a narrative with evil characters, events, etc. To wit:  (hey, it's fun to say "to wit")

"I think there is a flaw in your logic above. Nothing can pre-date noir. Noir has always been present. It's just that it wasn't identified as such until the 20th century. Shakespeare was definitely writing noir when he wrote MacBeth and Hamlet. His writing doesn't pre-date noir. His writing pre-dates the identification of noir. That's how I look at it"

 

Now this demonstrates exactly what I'm talking about. Of course Shakespeare and the ancient classic dramatists (like Sophocles) and countless poets, playwrights, and other storytellers throughout time have told stores involving tragedy, evil, horrible terrible events, killings, betrayal, rape, war, murder, and on and on. Darkness.

Some people enchanted with the idea of noir, and with the word "noir" itself, like to apply that word to all stories that recount horrible, "dark" events. Like I said, nobody's arguing that stories and films outside the "stricter", more defined application of the term "noir", don't include "dark", evil, narratives and characters. It was ever thus. It's just that a lot of people like to apply that word "noir" to such stories.

And no, I am not "targeting" any one poster here. Lots of people on this thread have argued the above point. (Misguidedly, I may say.)

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8 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Yes,  it is common for people to frame issues into binary camps and view them from that perspective.   I view this as non-nuanced and pedestrian.    But yea many like to be lemmings.   

Wait a second here, James!

Now, I had heard these "binary camps" are places where parents send their kids away for the summer to learn computer skills?!!!

(...or as Bogie says in that one flick set in a north African town, "I was misinformed"???) 

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OH, and btw SEPIA...

Just wanna say here, thanks for startin' this thread!

(...I haven't had so much damn fun in a thread since I don't know when!)

 

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20 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

I'd like to know how Sepiatone became an "Enhanced Member." Is this a physiological thing?

This is the most entertaining - and perhaps enlightening - post on this thread.

People who run websites should always be aware of unfortunate - or maybe fortunate -double entendres.

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1 minute ago, misswonderly3 said:

This is the most entertaining - and perhaps enlightening - post on this thread.

People who run websites should always be aware of unfortunate - or maybe fortunate -double entendres.

Yeah, well, I'm sure glad I'VE never stooped to such low brow humor around here anyway.

Well, not that ever recall stooping to, anyway.

(...but then again, I HAVE noticed my powers of recall have been slipping of late, and so there's that)

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17 hours ago, TopBilled said:

The discussion has definitely gotten off track from the OP's original intent. That's quite evident. What the OP was saying was that he/she came across an interpretation saying A CHRISTMAS CAROL could be classified as a noir. And the OP saw it as one way of looking at the film and classifying it. Certainly nothing wrong with that. The OP seemed to agree, or else this thread probably wouldn't have been created.

As for my comment, I did not say murder = dark subject matter. What I was saying is that dark subject matter = murder in noir. Typically films about heists or rapes or other criminal activity are not considered noir. They become dark and are classified noir because someone has been killed or was the target of an unsuccessful killer.

A noir without murder is like rain without water. 

Well, that shows how few noirs you've seen. There are a ton of film noirs (even by the strictest definition) that have no murders in them.

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6 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

We'd perhaps have to look into why the French( where the term came from) CALLED certain movies "film noir"  and go from there.....

We already did that, Sepia baby. (And by "we", I don't mean just me, I mean, quite a few of us have.)

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Saaay, ya know, maybe should place the blame for all this confusion at the very doorstep of those who seem responsible for it?!

Uh-huh, those darn French folks.

See?! This would be just ANOTHER example of why French words should have NEVER been allowed into the English language!

(...but FIRST of course I'd say we look into that whole superfluous-u thing, as I've heard the French were responsible for THAT whole unfortunate thing TOO!) 

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31 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Saaay, ya know, maybe should place the blame for all this confusion at the very doorstep of those who seem responsible for it?!

Uh-huh, those darn French folks.

See?! This would be just ANOTHER example of why French words should have NEVER been allowed into the English language!

(...but FIRST of course I'd say we look into that whole superfluous-u thing, as I've heard the French were responsible for THAT whole unfortunate thing TOO!) 

Right, Dargs, the French have a lot of "u's " in their words. It's those danged French Canadians who got us Anglo Canadians up here using that old suuperfluuouus "U". !

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

Wait a second here, James!

Now, I had heard these "binary camps" are places where parents send their kids away for the summer to learn computer skills?!!!

(...or as Bogie says in that one flick set in a north African town, "I was misinformed"???) 

These days they use a hex editor.  It is witchcraft.

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10 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Sounds like a new sub-genre-- animated noir. :) 

Why not, I think some of Sin City was animated. Also parts of Ralph Bakshi's Coonskin (1973)

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9 hours ago, Brrrcold said:

E.g., the 'never been born' sequence "It's a Wonderful Life."

I call it the Potterville sequence.

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5 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

I think I may have figured out the crux of the biscuit, as to what all this arguing on this thread is all about. (Sepiatone, look ye what ye have wrought !)

It's partly about the use of the word "noir". "Noir", as we all know, is a French word meaning "dark", also "black". And those French film critics in the 50s coined the term "film noir" to refer to that certain kind of American crime film that was "dark", both in terms of its visual appearance and cinematography, and its thematic content.

No MissW that is where you have it wrong,

"Charles O’Brien’s research indicates that the term “film noir” was used in French film reviews and newspaper articles in 1938 and 1939, to refer to French films such as Quai des brumes (1937) by Marcel Carné and La Bête humaine (1938) by Jean Renoir. O’Brien states that he found a “dozen explicit invocations of film noir” in the late 1930s, such as the paper L'Intransigeant, which called Quai des brumes a "film noir” and the newspaper Action française, in which a January 1938 film review by Francois Vinneuil called Le Puritain "un sujet classique: le film noir, plongeant dans la débauche et le crime" ("a classic subject: the film noir plunging in debauchery and crime"). O’Brien points out that the term “film noir” seems to have been first coined by the political right-wing and that may be because many – but not all – of the film noirs were from the poetic realist movement that was closely associated with the leftist Popular Front."

French critics Nino Frank and Jean-Pierre Chartier revived the term and applied it to American Films after WWII most of the films were about Crime, The Maltese Falcon, Laura, Double Indemnity, Murder, My Sweet, The Woman in the Window and one was about Addiction, The Lost Weekend

 

5 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

But a lot of people are now using the word "noir" to refer to any kind of "darkness" in any kind of movie. And many comments here, by many posters, have pointed out the "dark" elements in films that are not usually associated with the original (as in those French film critics) definition of film noir.

The Inclusion of The Lost Weekend, in the 40's, and the original coinage of Film Noir in the 1930s does refer to any kind of darkness.

5 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

So, I think what's causing disagreement and confusion is, people who say that any story or film that includes some elements of "darkness" could be called a "noir". And many, many movies - perhaps most - feature aspects of "darkness", or evil, or at least, bad, disturbing things, in their narratives. In fact, short of one of those early Dick Powell musicals and the like, most films have something "bad" or "dark" in them. This could be a crime (not necessarily murder, but maybe...), or a nasty /evil character trying to bring about the fall of someone, or mental illness, or even a suggestion of the supernatural (as in the great ghost movie, The Innocents).

Yes, many, maybe most, movies worth watching contain a narrative that includes some kind of "darkness". The problem, I think, is that a lot of people want to say that any film with "darkness" (as just stated, whether in a character or a crime or some otherwise "disturbing" aspect) is a "noir", or "contains elements of noir". It's just substituting the word "noir" for "darkness" or even "evil".

It's not just any film. The film has to have enough of the darkness, along with enough of the visual Noir stylistics to tip it into noir. 

Think of Brick in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof when he explains to Maggie or Big Daddy why he drinks, He drinks until that switch clicks in his head.

For me it's like an addiction, you watch a film and if it's got enough of the darkness and enough of the visual stylistics it will click into Noir.

5 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

I have no problem with acknowledging that many films, (some mentioned here on this thread) have a "darkness" to them, that they explore various aspects of the badness that exists in the world, and in the human heart. It's just a matter of terminology, or what word they want to use to indicate these films have those elements. And since "noir" means "dark", they're pleased to apply that word to those movies. Movies which in my opinion may very well have "darkness" or a narrative element of wickedness or violence in some way, but do not fall under the label (for lack of a  better word) of what I regard to be "film noir".

Obviously they don't click, tip, or "tune" for you then but they just might for somebody else. no? It's subjective.

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4 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Now this demonstrates exactly what I'm talking about. Of course Shakespeare and the ancient classic dramatists (like Sophocles) and countless poets, playwrights, and other storytellers throughout time have told stores involving tragedy, evil, horrible terrible events, killings, betrayal, rape, war, murder, and on and on. Darkness.

You've never seen Joe Macbeth (1955) then I take it. 

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While I'm on a roll here let me tack on to my previous...tack.

Imagine we have a big budget, full color, A-list cast, "children's fantasy musical extravaganza".

Example? Well, how about..."Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". With me so far? ('CCBB' for short).

Okay so according to the 'noir is a style' theory, we could start carefully adding A-G (noir elements) to 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' and the result would (supposedly) be that 'CCBB' might no longer be forced to be strictly classified a children's fantasy musical extravaganza. 

It could be called a 'noir children's fantasy musical extravaganza'. (One might well ask 'why'? 'Why would anyone want to do this?' 'What does it prove?' But nevermind).

Let's proceed with this method and see what happens. Here we go. I'm adding the first bit of noir style:

  • Jeremy and Jemima (the kids) are captured and held prisoner.
  • Here's another: the villain who captures them is a really menacing out-and-out villain. The famous 'Child Catcher'.

Here's another:

  • Stray kids by the hundreds are caught by this guy and they never escape.

B)

Gee. This is making a pretty gloomy 30 minutes in the midst of this cheerful film.

Keep going? Is it noir yet? Should we add more noir touches? Well the producers certainly might have. They might have made the 'child-catcher' sequence really shadowy, with black & white cinematography. They could have used unsettling camera angles too. And on and on and on.

:(

Question: at what point would Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang stop being a children's fantasy musical extravaganza?

How many 'noir touches' does it take before there's 'enough' ...to turn a non-noir movie into a noir?

:huh:

Answer: it doesn't matter how many you add.

True noirs usually have 'A-G' like I said above, and even a lot more. Something like AAA, BBB, CCC, DDD....true noir is usually found when noir factors are heaped on in plentiful servings.

Whereas a non-noir (like a children's fantasy musical extravaganza) might only be able to hold a superficial, cosmetic 'noir graft' of one, or two..or three....before they become either

  1. an inchoate mess of conflicting ornament, or
  2. they stop being whatever they were to begin with.

Ask yourself this: would anyone in their right mind set out to film a "children's fantasy musical extravaganza" intentionally --from start to finish--with Dutch angles and cheap sets and not enough lights and moral ambiguity?

No. The only way you can add 'noir' to Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang is so ineffectual that its not even worth mentioning or calling out at all. Its got maybe 30 minutes of something that looks vaguely noirish if you insist on saying so and making yourself look slightly silly.

:angry:

So. See what I've been saying all along? Judging the production method by what winds up on screen is utterly erroneous.

At some point in the transmutation (of 'adding' noir style), the checklist of what might make a successful "children's fantasy musical extravaganza"...THAT checklist would be completely undermined and tossed aside.

:unsure::wacko::blink:

Well, (maybe you're now asking) "how about something simpler like a noir-western?"

Not any easier there, sorry.

Uncle Joe said earlier that "a western has a checklist of settlers, indians, covered wagons, etc". Okay, so add "bits" of noir --just as we did above, with CCBB.

At what point will the checklist for the 'western' conflict with the checklist for noir? Whether or not we even call it a checklist, at some point the western elements will collapse and the now-former western will simply be...another cheap noir knockoff. Neither fish nor fowl.

I think anyone should be able to agree with me that this is simply not how movies are made. One of the few significant instances where movies were made this way? That was film noir.

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3 hours ago, Dargo said:

maybe should place the blame for all this confusion at the very doorstep of those who seem responsible for it?!

Uh-huh, those darn French folks.

Exactly. Way too much time on their hands for that wine-imbibing brood.

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1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

I call it the Potterville sequence.

Well, I have to admit I'VE always called it the "Hey, get me! I'm givin' out wings" sequence, CJ.

(...but that's probably because unlike YOU, I've always liked Sheldon Leonard)  ;)

LOL

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