Yea, you did and I thank you for it. Noir is subjective what tips Noir for someone else may not tip Noir for you. I also didn't get a whole lot of Noir out of my first couple of viewings until I watched it this morning. Those night time sequences outside the bar clicked this go round. Its more a Film Soleil Noir those sun baked desert or tropical set Noir.
As far as what is Film Noir........
Just the Facts.
1.) Film Noir literally means Dark Film it was originally used to describe films about dark subject matter, not just chiaroscuro films shot with a a lot of style. Film Noir is bigger than just Classic Film Noir (CFN) which is what this Facebook page is about (originally posted on FB )_. CFN is generally considered Hollywood Productions made between 1940 and 1959. What is interesting is, the two French critics upon seeing a backlog of Hollywood films hit Paris after the liberation subjectively wrote that these films reminded them of what they used to call Film Noir. So obviously Noir was around before 1940.
2.) Films Noir are still being made. What happened was that during 1950s Hollywood was loosing their audiences to competition with TV. Previously the pool of dark themes and subject matter that Noir forged into stylish films, were held in check by a voluntary Motion Picture Production Code. Think of Hollywood productions under the Code as having a guardrail of violence on one side and a guardrail of sex and taboo subjects on the other. When the Big Studio motion picture companies began to get serious competition from television, they needed an edge to get butts out of the living rooms and into the theaters they began to no longer enforce the code and to explore more previous banned subject matter. The guardrails disappeared. Then independent producers in competition with the Hollywood Studios tried to out do them by being the avaunt guard of exploiting the new freedoms. The legal challenges of, and ever changing benchmarks to the obscenity laws and the old taboo themes weakened the bulwarks of the pool and that arbitrary "dam" holding back all creativity burst out with predictable results.
3.) So those Film Noir that went too far over the line depicting violence started getting classified as Horror, Thriller (even though they were just say, showing the effects of a gunshot wound, or dealing with weird serial killers, maniacs, and psychotics, etc.). Those that went too far depicting sexual, drug, torture, etc., situations were being lumped into or classed as various Exploitation flicks, (even though they are relatively tame comparably to today's films). The the noir-ish films that dealt with everything else, except Crime, concerning the human condition were labeled Dramas and Suspense. Those that tried new techniques, lenses, etc., were labeled Experimental. Some films are so so bad in all aspects that they acquire the "so bad it's good" Cult status. These Film Noir I label the Transitional Noir.
4.) Since the 1970's all of the above in various forms and intensities can typically be part of the creative tool box used in what we call Neo Noirs. Also note that Neo Noirs have been made for roughly fifty years easily eclipsing Classic Film Noir.
5.) Since the entire Noir phenomena was subjective in the first place, there is going to be a whole spectrum of opinions. What tips a film noir for you may not be enough tip noir for somebody else.
6.) Visually, "dark subject matter" films or Films Noir are recognized now as having a sort of Ying-Yang thing going on. Originally the first studio bound films tended to be made on low budgets using expressionistic lighting and camera techniques to hide cheap sets and back-lots. Post war films using the lighter cameras developed for newsreel productions were able to make use of outdoor locations, not only real cites but now bleak deserts, and tropical locations were also the settings for these dark stories. The French coined these sun baked desert and tropical set Film Noir, Films Soleil.