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Okay so I've been quiet for the past two because A. I was busy and B. neither impressed me too much.  I thought they were both decent enough, but I'd never likely seek them out again.

THE HUNTED - I never for one second believed Belita was any sort of threat.  If anything I worried stalker Johnny was going to kill her.  This film had some qualities I REALLY liked, but I can't say that on the whole it was very memorable unless it is used as an example of a film where the perceived hero seems like the actual threat. :lol:

FOLLOW ME QUIETLY - I have to say that the 60min running time was my favorite part.  Lots of stuff to like in this one, but I DEFINITELY think Jeff Corey would have been a better choice to play Harry Grant.  Lundigan did absolutely nothing I found interesting.  I think a big issue I had with this one is that I saw a lot of potential for a really good story and I felt like they dropped the ball.  SPOILER And I'm sorry, but the scene in the darkened office on the rainy night was excellent, but it turning out that the dummy was someone we're obviously supposed to think was The Judge was just too far fetched.  Maybe if something similar had happened earlier I might believe The Judge would attempt something like that, but the way it happened just seemed unbelievable.  I admit it was wonderfully creepy and there were some great moments like that, but FOLLOW ME QUIETLY is another one that on the whole fell short for me.  I did really enjoy Jeff Corey's work in this one and, as I said, I think it would have played better for me had he been Harry Grant.  Of course, in 1949 his face wasn't as marketable as Lundigan's. :rolleyes:

AND just to confirm, FOLLOW ME QUIETLY has not shown up on my TCM On Demand either.

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I thought the dummy itself was a bit dumb. Why find a dummy. They just could have used a cop that fit that description and tell him not to turn around, no? Maybe it was to save on paying overtime. ?

It was probably for the set up for the sight gag

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3 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

H'mmm? What prevents us from making a checklist for noir? What prevents us even, from singling out one primary quality of noir? Thanks to the unique structure of noir, its perhaps the only genre of cinema where we can do confidently such a thing.

This is where we see things very differently.    Yea,  by saying noir is a genre and then defining 'rules' about it you can confidently do 'such a thing' because you created what I called these artificial constraints and therefore an artificial paradigm;  noir as genre based on these rules (constraints).     

Unique structure?  Yea,  because a unique structure was made-up.

I don't use this paradigm and I don't favor it.  

Anyhow, since you're big on this unique structure can you please name the 3 main 'rules' (criteria),  of the noir genre?   E.g. a film must have these 3 (must have),  to be part of the noir genre as you define it?  

Note that Cid says this 'but I too question if it really Noir.';  the 'noir is a genre, with fixed rules' approach leads to this type of statement.    The 'noir is a style,  with certain elements, and the more of these elements a film has the more 'noir' it is' avoids the 'is it really Noir'  rabbit hole.   (but of course at forums like this,  discussing rabbit holes is half the fun!).

 

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This is where we see things very differently.  Yea,  by saying noir is a genre and then defining 'rules' about it you can confidently do 'such a thing'  because you created what I called these artificial constraints and therefore an artificial paradigm;  noir as genre based on these rules (constraints).   

 

But this is one of the most correct definitions for the functionality of any genre, according to Cawelti and thousands of other critics who've written about genre fiction since the 1700s.

The primary idea you've divulged to me so far (if I may paraphrase you without incurring any ire) is that you tend to dismiss objectivity in audiences. From your remarks here I suspect that is still your underlying point. If so, it'd be better to start there.

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Unique structure?  Yea,  because a unique structure was made-up.

But, I would say that what you are uneasy about 'being made up'...isn't made-up at all. It's drawn from the evidence. Anyone who approaches the task of assessing genres, invariably comes to some basic, fundamental, conclusions like this.

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I don't use this paradigm and I don't favor it.  

You're free to recuse yourself, naturally.

But then the question remains: does avoiding the analysis indicate you have another to substitute in its place? Or are we supposed to stand around with our heads drooping down on our chests and our hands down at our sides, resigned to perplexity in what is a fairly straightforward matter? Are you saying that 'film noir' is so weighty, ponderous, and complex we must accept defeat and admit that we can't define it? We put Neil Armstrong on the Moon but we can't identify various types of cinema?

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Anyhow, since you're big on this unique structure can you please name the three main 'rules' (criteria),  of the noir genre?  To be part of the noir genre as you define it?

We might do this sometime; but I rather disagree with the methodology. As I said to Big Joe; the first thing to recognize is that we can't look to remove "noirish elements" like this, in order to get at some 'distillation' or 'reduction' of what it is.

I advanced one such starting-point myself a few weeks ago, but that too, was probably speaking too glibly, rashly; and subjectively. Its an easy pitfall.

But (re: your request) I also don't see why I'm 'put on the spot'. Noir studies has a rich, existing field of critical literature. Recall that a crony of mine even majored in this field. You can do the reading yourself.

I can maybe point you to some titles. (I'm already digging through some old tomes on my own shelf in order to squelch the mirage that 'hard-boiled detective' can be noir).

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the 'noir is a genre, with fixed rules' approach leads to this type of statement. The 'noir is a style,  with certain elements, and the more of these elements a film has the more 'noir' it is' avoids the 'is it really Noir'  rabbit hole.

Good point. But I believe I've already 'come out against' (in another thread), the idea that a genre is defined by "what the plots might contain". Remember, I spoke of "how sci-fi does not stop being sci-fi merely if you remove all the aliens and robots".

I still have some responses to read in that last weekend's discussions; I need some time to catch up to whatever Big Joe left off. I also don't want to get too agitated about this; I don't want to ram my views down anyone's throat. What is 'fun' for me (with my analytic turn-of-mind) is clearing up muddy waters; but not to the point of stepping on anyone's corns.

To be continued...

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27 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

We might do this sometime; but I rather disagree with the methodology. As I said to Big Joe; the first thing to recognize is that we can't look to remove "noirish elements" like this, in order to get at some 'distillation' or 'reduction' of what it is.

This is where I'm confused about your approach to 'what is noir';   You say you 'disagree with this methodology',  but to me I'm using YOUR methodology.    That methodology is:

1) Noir is a genre

2) A genre has "most correct definitions for the functionality of any genre"

All I'm asking is for you to name 3 of the noir definitions  for the functionality of the Noir genre.   E.g. the protagonist is a doomed man. 

Note that 'noir as style' also has such definitions (and I listed many of them in the post I stole from the Ball State folks).     

I don't see where either Joe or I asked that "noirish elements" be removed,  but instead we wish to know what the key 'noirish elements' are in the noir genre (as you define it).     Once one knows what these elements are for 'noir as genre' than one can categorize individual films as Noir or NOT based on those elements.

PS: and hey I only asked for 3 elements?   The 3 main 'must have'.   Now I assume you have 'must have' elements under this 'most correct definitions for the functionality'.

Thanks   

 

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just FYI...........

Eddie MullerVerified account @EddieMuller 1h1 hour ago

 
 

A MESSAGE FROM EDDIE M ... regarding this week's @NoirAlley offering, "The Sniper."

Some people have objected to images from this film being posted here in the aftermath of the nation's latest mass shooting. Some have called for the film's broadcast to be postponed ...

. or cancelled. Here's the thing: I was very hesitant to show this film at all, but decided there was no value in NOT confronting these issues head-on, even though we'd all prefer TCM to be "an escape."

If you feel this is insensitive, I encourage you to watch my intro and outro, even if you don't want to watch the film.

Also: these shows are scheduled months in advance; I wish I could say there's no way to predict when we'll have another mass shooting, but that's BS—we had one the day I booked this, which is why I had second thoughts.

 

We have mass shootings constantly in this country, virtually every day.

Cancelling an airing of a 66-year-old movie that had the foresight and courage to confront a disturbing issue is NOT the solution to our never-ending national disgrace.@NoirAlley

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2 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Agreed.  Who cares what category a movie falls into? 

Generally I agree with this,  and like I said such discussions end up taking one into a rabbit hole.    

But hey,  this is the Noir Alley forum,  so in that sense these often highbrow (go nowhere) type discussions can help define what specific films Mueller 'should' show as part of Noir Alley.      E.g.  The Letter (Wyler\Davis version) - to me it was interesting to discuss this film and see the different viewpoints as to how 'noir' the film was or NOT.

 

  

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Well, I've advanced an excellent reason (in another thread) why it is important to keep genre boundaries firm and distinct; and why we should care about it. The reason is that if you do not do this, then "Grub-Street"-style authors (hacks) will crank out cheap, mediocre products from one genre --make them resemble the hallmarks of a neighboring genre --and demean both genres at the same time when doing so.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grub_Street

It lessens quality all around (for both the writing and filming of these stories), when you do not keep the bar high for each genre internally to itself.

The horrible trend of "space oaters" and "alien gunslingers" (early in the SF genre) prompted the betterment of science-fiction; once it was realized and once it was halted.

GalaxyOct50rearcover.jpg

 

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9 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Well, I've advanced an excellent reason (in another thread) why it is important to keep genre boundaries firm and distinct; and why we should care about it. The reason is that if you do not do this, then "Grub-Street"-style authors (hacks) will crank out cheap, mediocre products from one genre --make them resemble the hallmarks of a neighboring genre --and demean both genres at the same time when doing so.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grub_Street

It lessens quality all around (for both the writing and filming of these stories), when you do not keep the bar high for each genre internally to itself.

The horrible trend of "space oaters" and "alien gunslingers" (early in the SF genre) prompted the betterment of science-fiction; once it was realized and once it was halted.

GalaxyOct50rearcover.jpg

 

Sez you ?

Seems like much ado about nothing. 

Some of the most interesting films are those that are genre benders.

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 :unsure: If it changed the course of genre publishing since WWII, it's a lot more than just me saying so.

Eh, what you're doing here once again is bringing in a subjective spin on things. "This is more interesting to me," etc etc.

'Deliberately mixing genres' --a move usually provoked by desperation--is a different trend anyway. You couldn't have it at the beginning of these industries; its only possible now that publishing and movie-making are both staggering along and no one is competent or prolific anymore.

The principle is that you can't set a course or forge ahead by following 'accidents' and 'flukes'. You don't set out to emulate incompetence and plagiarism and make that your aegis.

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2 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

:unsure: If it changed the course of genre publishing since WWII, it's a lot more than just me saying so.

Eh, what you're doing here once again is bringing in a subjective spin on things. "This is more interesting to me," etc etc.

'Deliberately mixing genres' is a different trend anyway. You couldn't have it at the beginning of these industries; its only possible now that publishing and movie-making are staggering along and no one is competent or prolific anymore.

The principle is that you can't set a course or forge ahead by following 'accidents' and 'flukes'.

Let me find an appropriate emoji, oh well there isn't one......

You got to loosen up you are a bit too uptight. 

I'll paraphrase Picasso

“Ah, genre boundaries! What a dreadful thing! Boundaries are the enemy of creativeness.”

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Another reason for maintaining clear ideas on what a genre is: snow-jobs.

Someone always comes along --exactly like Quentin Tarantino did--claiming to have invented something new; when clearly he has only copied and bastardized.

And then a whole generation of stooges grows up not knowing what the original format was for the films he distorted. If you don't think that's doing a disservice to the generations of talented and earnest individuals who worked for the classic-era studios? The people who forged the genre in the first place? Mighty poor moral stance, that's all I would say.

Or else: what happens when a modern-day prodco kicks off a cheap remake or a reboot or a re-imagining of a classic story and --same thing--tries to sell tickets based on phony claims.  "You've never seen this before!" "We turn crime fiction on its head!" etc etc etc.

What then? Would you say its 'better'? 'Better' because its easier? 'Better' rather than do the measly amount of effort it requires to preserve understanding and skill? Better for whom, I ask. People who simply want to lazily sit back and not use their brains? Maybe, but its not better for the artists themselves.

Or what about situations like Akira Kurosawa taking a plot from Dashiell Hammett; and then Sergio Leone taking from Akira Kurosawa; then John Sturges taking a plot from Sergio Leone. This kind of borrowing is not exactly 'evil' but it is important when (seven decades later) everyone is trying to figure out exactly 'who did exactly what'. Who was the pioneer and who was the copycat?

Knowing just what a genre-product entails in the making, makes it clear who to ||laud --and who to diss --when some "johnny-come-lately" sashays along and pads their own ego by hawking their own wares. When you know what a genre is, you know whether someone actually did any work or not. It's important.

You have to have certain precepts established just to determine what it is you're even looking at. It's not just about movies or books; these principles govern artistic practice extending back through all art industries (Greek, Roman, etc) save perhaps for neolithic.

Compared to all this, insisting on subjectivity is something very like petulance or childishness. Just sayin'; I don't think much of it. I have a passion for fairness! :rolleyes:

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You got to loosen up you are a bit too uptight.

Its the fault of my background and my training. And my career. Analysis and dissection are how I earn my daily bread so I'm not used to relaxing. I'm not a lawyer, nope--but if you've ever had to stand up before an audience --and face the prospect of humiliation-- for not preparing your case correctly, you wind up with a horror of flawed reasoning. Unsound arguments to me, are as wince-worthy as listening to men tear up the street with jackhammers. B)

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A world without genre-definitions!

Bad_Taste.jpg

 

Shag-rugs, black-light velvet Elvis, seashores paintings in hotel rooms, lava-lamps, pet-rocks, day-glo footwear; skateboard with glowing neon lights, chia pets, pinkie-rings...

3601ebf4daa8adb3d4d1e794fe5e477a.jpg

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Does the film entertain me? Do I care about its characters, or some of them, at least, and get emotionally involved in what happens to them?

These are the keys priorities for me about whether a film is worth watching or not. I couldn't care less whether that film falls into someone's subjective definition of "film noir."

Eddie Mueller said he was at a showing of some film (The Hunted?) and someone stood up in the audience and shouted, "THIS ISN'T NOIR! IT'S ROMANTIC MELODRAMA!" then stormed away.

Oh, the indignation he must have been experiencing, poor baby.

So much fuss about an issue of so little importance, to my thinking, at least.

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18 hours ago, mr6666 said:

just FYI...........

Eddie MullerVerified account @EddieMuller 1h1 hour ago

 
 

A MESSAGE FROM EDDIE M ... regarding this week's @NoirAlley offering, "The Sniper."

Some people have objected to images from this film being posted here in the aftermath of the nation's latest mass shooting. Some have called for the film's broadcast to be postponed ...

. or cancelled. Here's the thing: I was very hesitant to show this film at all, but decided there was no value in NOT confronting these issues head-on, even though we'd all prefer TCM to be "an escape."

If you feel this is insensitive, I encourage you to watch my intro and outro, even if you don't want to watch the film.

Also: these shows are scheduled months in advance; I wish I could say there's no way to predict when we'll have another mass shooting, but that's BS—we had one the day I booked this, which is why I had second thoughts.

 

We have mass shootings constantly in this country, virtually every day.

Cancelling an airing of a 66-year-old movie that had the foresight and courage to confront a disturbing issue is NOT the solution to our never-ending national disgrace.@NoirAlley

Thanks.  Agree with this message.  Ironically, I purchased the Route 66 DVD set several years ago and there was an episode that was not broadcast.  It did get broadcast once the series went into syndication though.  

Episode was "I'm Here to Kill a King," scheduled for broadcast on Nov. 29, 1963 .  Kennedy was assassinated Nov. 22, 1963.  The episode has a Tod Stiles look-a-like who plans to assassinate a foreign king visiting the US.

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1 hour ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Its the fault of my background and my training. And my career. Analysis and dissection are how I earn my daily bread so I'm not used to relaxing. I'm not a lawyer, nope--but if you've ever had to stand up before an audience --and face the prospect of humiliation-- for not preparing your case correctly, you wind up with a horror of flawed reasoning. Unsound arguments to me, are as wince-worthy as listening to men tear up the street with jackhammers. B)

Well I was a computer programmer that designed numerous software programs,  one that has a US pattern so analysis and dissection are how I earned my daily bread (and today royalties which allows me to goof around at this place!).

But that was computer software,  and what we are discussing are the arts.   These are more fluid.   There are not many fixed constraints.    I do wonder if you take the same approach to musical genres.     At the Jazz Guitar Forum there is a thread 'what is jazz?'.    Now most of us jazz guitarist approach the question with a 'I know it when I hear it but I can't really describe it',  type answer.   Yea,  there are guidelines (e.g. improvisation),  but most of these are fluid;  E.g. typically a complex harmonic structure.   This says 'typically' because Miles Davis introduced a modal harmonic structure where the beauty is in its simplicity.   I.e. guideline are made to be broken\transcended.

I'll just end stealing from Joe:

  Ah, genre boundaries! What a dreadful thing! Boundaries are the enemy of creativeness.”

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Picasso. Well one thing's for sure, you can't base an argument on what this-or-that artist happened to mutter out of the side-of-his-mouth, some morning as he was making his coffee.

Instead of this kind of thing, here's typical 'light reading' plucked from my home bookshelf. (I often enjoy books devoted to exactly these kinds of questions).

https://tinyurl.com/ycrqmtsb

https://tinyurl.com/y8wtvps2

Would you estimate that these thinkers take as casual or offhand an attitude to the subject of genre, the way Pablo Picasso seems to have done?

As I recall, Picasso is the same wag who made that hideous comment about "stealing-from-other-artists"; (which has famously become a mandate for plagiarists ever since).

Maybe he should have had more coffee that morning. Maybe he should stop contradicting himself. On the other hand, would he still be an Artiste' if he did so?

With regard to music --or anything else--yes I do feel there are plenty of formal ideas worth-knowing-about. Not to the point where they constraint us or hamper us; but they're important if one is setting out on a career in music or maybe if one is considering the purchase of a fine instrument, or what-have-you. There's many good reasons to not take a 'loosey-goosey' or diletantte's approach to a discipline.

Think of it this way: we don't let teenagers design skyscrapers and we don't let busboys from Denny's perform root canals on our mouth. Professionalism matters.

Picasso was a trained, schooled, professional artist before he went off experimenting on his own. Sure, we can hand a toddler a plastic kazoo and when he produces a couple of feeble notes we can humor him with some parental applause --just to make him feel good-- but who's kidding who? He's not playing a Strauss waltz on it.

 

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Another point-of-difference might be these ridiculous videos of supposed 'music prodigies' on Youtube or whatever. How many times have I been in a bar and some 20-something fool tries to convince me there's some 11-yr old out in Des Moines, Iowa who is the "world's next greatest musician" because in the interval of seven months, he taught himself how to mimic the drum track, beat-for-beat, to a song by Metallica. Playing his home drum set in his garage.

I blithely inform them (to their dismay) "Sorry, but that's 'monkey-see, monkey-do'. AKA, "piddling around"".

What happens when you let this nonsense get out of hand? All this hokey, fuzzy, cultural relativism? Foucault and Derrida, Lacan, Kristeva, deLeuze, DeMan?

Someday you'll find prose novels in bookstores maybe categorized as "paranormal" vs "mortal"... or "wizards" vs "shapeshifters". "BDSM" vs "Vanilla". Or some other inanity. (Maybe it will even be forbidden to draw any other genre-lines because people-who-identify-as-shapeshifter will feel their rights are infringed upon and they'll get their lobbyist group to advocate for them).

Of course, there might not even be any bookstores at some point with the way things are headed. But this is partly why firm genre-lines need to be fixed and unflinching. Draw boundaries somewhere, and hold to them for the sake of order and clarity. Stop worrying about hurt feelings come Grammy Night.

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Another one! DJs who use sampling technology to incorporate classic Motown tunes into their beat-tracks ...and take credit for melodies they never invented! Just this year I heard that no-talent Beyonce covering a great song by soul artist, Thelma Houston. Sure, royalties get paid on the back-end but how many fools in the audience are now deceived by who actually originated those lyrics? Where's the justice in that?

"Down and Out in Beverly Hills" can steal a storyline from Jean Renoir; and who's gonna know the difference? Someone probably thought it was "okay" because it "just sorta felt right to them".

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43 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

With regard to music --or anything else--yes I do feel there are plenty of formal ideas worth-knowing-about. Not to the point where they constraint us or hamper us; but they're important if one is setting out on a career in music or maybe if one is considering the purchase of a fine instrument, or what-have-you. There's many good reasons to not take a 'loosey-goosey' or diletantte's approach to a discipline.

I completely agree with this,  especially since you connected 'ideas worth-knowing-about' with 'not to the point where they constraint us'.    That is the key,  that is where one becomes their own artist.   Learn from the those that came before us (even mimic to get a fuller understanding of what a master is doing),  without letting that constraint you.    Related to musical genres the biggest 'fight' is over jazz blues.    It is jazz?  It is blues?  I say it is both and much more interesting to play then standard blues.   But to purist 'both' is a cop-out. 

 

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Well said, Jazz Man. Remember the controversy over "Fusion" and "Third Stream"? Or the furor over Dylan going electric? If something helps an artist springboard his own genuine creative contribution, great. But I don't agree with enabling cheapness and theft. In the digital age, this is a colossal problem; since everything is lifted so easily.

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