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Sepiatone

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

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This thread is inspiring me to create a list I will call A.K.A. NOIR. Consisting of films that have noir elements, which people may not have ever considered before. And related to this I will create a new glossary defining noir hybrids like legal noir, children's noir, etc.

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14 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

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

:D

Actually, it was a "play" on the phrase "enhanced interrogation" used by the Bush administration to replace the word "torture"  ;)

Perhaps mine means "torturous member".  ;)

Sepiatone

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2 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

This thread is inspiring me to create a list I will call A.K.A. NOIR. Consisting of films that have noir elements, which people may not have ever considered before. And related to this I will create a new glossary defining noir hybrids like legal noir, children's noir, etc.

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

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5 minutes 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.....

No morally ambiguous characters, no moral corruption, no post war themes, no femme fetale, etc. I heard noir once described as  “A Dame With a Past and a Hero With No Future” and I think that's a good way of describing it. A Christmas Carol has none of the major noir themes in it. It just has some shadowy cinematography. :unsure:  

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This excerpt from a lengthy WIKIPEDIA entry really confuses the debate more, and at once says both the Scrooge movie CAN and CANNOT be considered "noir".  :unsure:

 

The questions of what defines film noir, and what sort of category it is, provoke continuing debate.[3] "We'd be oversimplifying things in calling film noir oneiric, strange, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel ..."—this set of attributes constitutes the first of many attempts to define film noir made by French critics Raymond Borde and Étienne Chaumeton in their 1955 book Panorama du film noir américain 1941–1953 (A Panorama of American Film Noir), the original and seminal extended treatment of the subject.[4] They emphasize that not every film noir embodies all five attributes in equal measure—one might be more dreamlike; another, particularly brutal.[5] The authors' caveats and repeated efforts at alternative definition have been echoed in subsequent scholarship: in the more than five decades since, there have been innumerable further attempts at definition, yet in the words of cinema historian Mark Bould, film noir remains an "elusive phenomenon ... always just out of reach".[6]

Though film noir is often identified with a visual style, unconventional within a Hollywood context, that emphasizes low-key lighting and unbalanced compositions,[7] films commonly identified as noir evidence a variety of visual approaches, including ones that fit comfortably within the Hollywood mainstream.[8] Film noir similarly embraces a variety of genres, from the gangster film to the police procedural to the gothic romance to the social problem picture—any example of which from the 1940s and 1950s, now seen as noir's classical era, was likely to be described as a melodrama at the time.[9]

While many critics refer to film noir as a genre itself, others argue that it can be no such thing.[10] Film noir is often associated with an urban setting, but many classic noirs take place in small towns, suburbia, rural areas, or on the open road; setting, therefore, cannot be its genre determinant, as with the Western. Similarly, while the private eye and the femme fatale are character types conventionally identified with noir, the majority of film noirs feature neither; so there is no character basis for genre designation as with the gangster film. Nor does film noir rely on anything as evident as the monstrous or supernatural elements of the horror film, the speculative leaps of the science fiction film, or the song-and-dance routines of the musica

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29 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

This excerpt from a lengthy WIKIPEDIA entry really confuses the debate more, and at once says both the Scrooge movie CAN and CANNOT be considered "noir".  :unsure:

 

The questions of what defines film noir, and what sort of category it is, provoke continuing debate.[3] "We'd be oversimplifying things in calling film noir oneiric, strange, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel ..."—this set of attributes constitutes the first of many attempts to define film noir made by French critics Raymond Borde and Étienne Chaumeton in their 1955 book Panorama du film noir américain 1941–1953 (A Panorama of American Film Noir), the original and seminal extended treatment of the subject.[4] They emphasize that not every film noir embodies all five attributes in equal measure—one might be more dreamlike; another, particularly brutal.[5] The authors' caveats and repeated efforts at alternative definition have been echoed in subsequent scholarship: in the more than five decades since, there have been innumerable further attempts at definition, yet in the words of cinema historian Mark Bould, film noir remains an "elusive phenomenon ... always just out of reach".[6]

Though film noir is often identified with a visual style, unconventional within a Hollywood context, that emphasizes low-key lighting and unbalanced compositions,[7] films commonly identified as noir evidence a variety of visual approaches, including ones that fit comfortably within the Hollywood mainstream.[8] Film noir similarly embraces a variety of genres, from the gangster film to the police procedural to the gothic romance to the social problem picture—any example of which from the 1940s and 1950s, now seen as noir's classical era, was likely to be described as a melodrama at the time.[9]

While many critics refer to film noir as a genre itself, others argue that it can be no such thing.[10] Film noir is often associated with an urban setting, but many classic noirs take place in small towns, suburbia, rural areas, or on the open road; setting, therefore, cannot be its genre determinant, as with the Western. Similarly, while the private eye and the femme fatale are character types conventionally identified with noir, the majority of film noirs feature neither; so there is no character basis for genre designation as with the gangster film. Nor does film noir rely on anything as evident as the monstrous or supernatural elements of the horror film, the speculative leaps of the science fiction film, or the song-and-dance routines of the musica

Leave it to the French to **** up their own invented designation.

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14 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:
18 hours ago, Arteesto said:

 

I don't know if you're alluding to the post I wrote here about The Bad Seed, Arteesto

Nope

The [disagree with me..I'm old I can take it] is generic and is not a swipe at you or anyone.

A fencing match about the small, precise details of film noir doesn't interest me. 

Just mentioned how I feel about Bad Seed.

The sappy ending is the problem with this movie..it mitigates the darkness of the film.

Clearly the child had Antisocial Personality Disorder.

To me..her demise was the end of the movie.

The bolt of lightning was poetic justice.

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43 minutes ago, Arteesto said:

Nope

The [disagree with me..I'm old I can take it] is generic and is not a swipe at you or anyone.

A fencing match about the small, precise details of film noir doesn't interest me. 

Just mentioned how I feel about Bad Seed.

The sappy ending is the problem with this movie..it mitigates the darkness of the film.

Clearly the child had Antisocial Personality Disorder.

To me..her demise was the end of the movie.

The bolt of lightning was poetic justice.

One Rhoda is noir.

screen-shot-2018-11-27-at-8-25-54-am.jpg

And one Rhoda is not noir.

screen-shot-2018-11-27-at-8-26-26-am.jpg

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Taking another tack here.

Imagine a tentative list of some elements which we usually associate with noir. (There's others, but lets start with these).

A = "everyman"

B = "ex-serviceman"

C = "dark photography"

D = "low budget"

E = "dutch angles"

F = "gloom"

G = "theme of moral ambivalence"

And let's designate "H" as the sensation you experience when you view true film noir.

There may be nothing which always yields 'H'. We don't know what always produces 'H' ...but we know some things about the circumstances in which we most often find it.

--------------------

Questions:

  • Is 'A-G' always associated with 'H'?

No.

  • Does 'A-G' automatically add up to 'H'?

No.

  • Are there any other ways to combine 'A-G' which consistently guarantees 'H'?

No.

  • But, is 'A-G' often associated with 'H'?

Yes.

---------------------

Now, let's stipulate this:

I = "crime"

J = "horror"

K = "sci-fi"

L = "detective"

M = "mystery"

N = "suspense"

O = "action"

P = "buddy-film"

(etc etc etc -- basically let "I - Z" represent all other film genres and film types)

------------------

Question: What do we know? At the very least, we know that:

  • Nothing inherently present in the traditional production of 'I - Z' ever results in 'H'.
  • 'Adding' any element of A-G to I - Z, does not necessarily or consistently make 'I - Z' = 'H'
  • No other way of combining A-G to I - Z (deliberately or accidentally) has any other more consistent result.

We could say more, but I'll stop here. This all just goes to show that the two 'camps' in any debate on noir, are not necessarily saying:

  1. "this checklist is the only method of making a noir" vs
  2. "no, it doesn't have to happen by a checklist".

I'm saying that all such thinking itself is besides the point. You can't "make a noir" using either of these mindsets.

Believing you could, would be like saying, "I can discover gravity if I sit under an apple tree. See, an apple might fall and give me the idea". Well, you can sit under an apple tree and have a hundred different things happen to you other than discovering gravity; and anyway gravity's discovery has already been famously attributed to someone else (so why pretend you're doing something for the first time when you obviously aren't)?

The specific accident which gave rise to noir film-making was a one-time thing and it is not repeatable in the same way, (achieving the same famous result) either beforehand, nor after the fact.

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3 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Imagine a tentative list of some elements which we usually associate with noir. (There's others, but lets start with these).

A = "everyman"

B = "ex-serviceman"

C = "dark photography"

D = "low budget"

E = "dutch angles"

F = "gloom"

G = "theme of moral ambivalence"

And let's designate "H" as the sensation you experience when you view true film noir.

There may be nothing which always yields 'H'. We don't know what always produces 'H' ...but we know some things about the circumstances in which we most often find it.

--------------------

Questions:

  • Is 'A-G' always associated with 'H'?

No.

  • Does 'A-G' automatically add up to 'H'?

No.

  • Are there any other ways to combine 'A-G' which consistently guarantees 'H'?

No.

  • But, is 'A-G' often associated with 'H'?

Yes.

---------------------

Now, let's stipulate this:

I = "crime"

J = "horror"

K = "sci-fi"

L = "detective"

M = "mystery"

N = "suspense"

O = "action"

P = "buddy-film"

(etc etc etc -- basically let "I - Z" represent all other film genres and film types)

------------------

Question: What do we know? At the very least, we know that:

  • Nothing inherently present in the traditional production of 'I - Z' ever results in 'H'.
  • Adding any element of A-G to I - Z, does not necessarily or consistently make 'I - Z' = 'H'
  • No other way of combining A-G to I - Z (deliberately or accidentally) has any other more consistent result either.

We could say more, but I'll stop here. This all just goes to show that the two 'camps' in any debate on noir, are not necessarily saying:

(1) "this checklist is the only method of making a noir" vs (2) "no, it doesn't have to happen by a checklist".

I'm saying that all such thinking itself is besides the point. You can't "make" a noir in any of these ways.

Believing you could, would be like saying "I can discover gravity if I sit under an apple tree. An apple might fall and give me the idea". Well you can sit under an apple tree and have a hundred different things happen to you other than discovering gravity; and anyway gravity's discovery has already been famously attributed to someone else so why pretend you're doing something for the first time when you obviously aren't?

 

Sorry Sarge, but because your above posting started reminding me way too much of those Algebraic word problems that I always HATED in school, I was only able to get through about two-thirds of it before I lost interest in it.

(...BUT, I'll bet once RICH sees it, HE'LL be absolutely FASCINATED with your concept here, dude!!!)

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22 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

We could say more, but I'll stop here. This all just goes to show that the two 'camps' in any debate on noir, are not necessarily saying:

Your thesis is very good.

It points out that "noir" is not a formulaic entity; but rather....it is a "feeling" that one gets.

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Quote

that I always HATED in school

Its never too late to learn, Darg oul' son! Don't be a -skeered! ^_^

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Arteesto opined:

Quote

it is a "feeling" that one gets.

Thank you. I agree with your remark. We can't say we 'know' what (in a comedy) always produces a laugh or what (in a horror) always produced a shudder...similarly, we can't say what always produces that unique noir sensation (where noir happens, in the gut!)

Its really easier to say what doesn't produce it. That list is far easier to make ('I - Z', as I suggested is the case).

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7 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Its never too late to learn, Darg oul' son! Don't be a -skeered! ^_^

If you think there are only two-camps when it comes to noir (or any discussion of something complex),  you need to go back to school.

 

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Feh! :(

Put it this way: on this website ...on this forum...in these threads...recently...there sometimes ...seem to be ...just two camps ...forming sides.

I'm not talking about the rest of the world. I ain't got the whole world in my hands.

Happy now?

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Just now, Sgt_Markoff said:

Feh! :(

Put it this way: on this website ...on this forum...in these threads...recently...

there sometimes seem to be just two camps forming sides.

I'm not talking about the rest of the world.

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

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2 hours ago, Arteesto said:

Nope

The [disagree with me..I'm old I can take it] is generic and is not a swipe at you or anyone.

A fencing match about the small, precise details of film noir doesn't interest me. 

Just mentioned how I feel about Bad Seed.

The sappy ending is the problem with this movie..it mitigates the darkness of the film.

Clearly the child had Antisocial Personality Disorder.

To me..her demise was the end of the movie.

The bolt of lightning was poetic justice.

Right, Arteesto, looks like we agree on The Bad Seed.

Except...I would say, never mind the earnest 21st century psychological mental illness labels, (as in, "Antisocial Personality Disorder"), she was just plain evil. !

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5 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

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

James, I just quoted you here to get your attention. (Although there may be more than two camps on this or any other issue...like, band camp, for instance...)

Anyway, I really would like to know why you "reacted" to a post I wrote here about children's literature and films with a "laugh" emoji. Really? You thought what I said was funny? Or were you just trying to annoy me? I'm curious to know why you thought that post was funny.  It was not intended to be.

I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about children's entertainment and art (sorry, "art" sounds kind of pretentious), and I was trying just a little bit to clarify some of it.

But as I said in that earlier post, that's another topic for another thread. (or not.)

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23 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

If you think there are only two-camps when it comes to noir (or any discussion of something complex),  you need to go back to school.

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

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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".

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15 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

James, I just quoted you here to get your attention. (Although there may be more than two camps on this or any other issue...like, band camp, for instance...)

Anyway, I really would like to know why you "reacted" to a post I wrote here about children's literature and films with a "laugh" emoji. Really? You thought what I said was funny? Or were you just trying to annoy me? I'm curious to know why you thought that post was funny.  It was not intended to be.

I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about children's entertainment and art (sorry, "art" sounds kind of pretentious), and I was trying just a little bit to clarify some of it.

But as I said in that earlier post, that's another topic for another thread. (or not.)

I assume you're taking about the 'children noir' thread;  I laughed at that because I wasn't sure you were joking or not when you appeared to assume that 'children noir' meant a dark film made for children (i.e. made to be viewed by mostly children).     To me that was NOT what the OP meant;  instead children noir meant dark films that included children in a significant role (which is why I mentioned Night of the Hunter).

PS:   As for Night of the Hunter;  I said the film has noir elements.    I try to stay away from saying a film is a 'noir' because I wish to avoid the yapping gums of the 'that isn't noir' camp.

 

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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.

 

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I assume you're taking about the 'children noir' thread;  I laughed at that because I wasn't sure you were joking or not when you appeared to assume that 'children noir' meant a dark film made for children (i.e. made to be viewed by mostly children).     To me that was NOT what the OP meant;  instead children noir meant dark films that included children in a significant role (which is why I mentioned Night of the Hunter).

PS:   As for Night of the Hunter;  I said the film has noir elements.    I try to stay away from saying a film is a 'noir' because I wish to avoid the yapping gums of the 'that isn't noir' camp.

 

Ok. Thanks, that clarifies what you thought in response to my post about children and noir.

I'd have to go back and find the original post to which I was responding, but I think that post used the term "children's noir". It might seem picky, but sometimes punctuation makes a difference. The possessive apostrophe - as in children's noir, suggested to me that the poster was implying that a "dark" film with children in it was something intended for children to watch. If that's not what they meant (and I agree, it seems absurd), then they should have called it something else - - I dunno, maybe something like "disturbing evil child movie" - although that does seem like a pretty cumbersome label !

But yeah, I would be surprised if anyone here who knows and loves "classic" movies that feature a wicked child or ghost child, or anything of that ilk, would think such a film is appropriate for children to watch.

Full disclosure: I love Night of the Hunter and watched it with all three of my children once; I wanted them to watch it, it's such a good movie. However, 1) the children escape the evil pursuer, and the film has a (more or less) happy ending (well, maybe not "happy", but not without hope)  and 2) my youngest child was 10 or so at the time. So maybe old enough to handle the scary aspects of the film. And none of my kids have ever forgotten that movie !

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18 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

 

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.

 

I think darkblue should change his name to noirblue.

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