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Who's with me here? How about a NEO-Noir series on TCM now?


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15 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

yes, Chinatown! i actually have a film book written by an esteemed British writer David Thornton, who feels the same way, that they are nearly comparable to one another, and that Roger Rabbit is a far better followup to Chinatown than its actual sequel The Two Jakes was (that film had its moments though).

Oh yeah, I remember sitting through The Two Jakes when it was first released, CI.

And also remember thinking about half way through it that director Nicholson should have gotten himself somebody in the editing both, and evidently somebody other than himself, who knew and understood the idea of "Pacing" and the proper "flow" a movie should have.

(...and thought it a real same that his otherwise well-photographed, well-acted and nicely recreated world of postwar L.A. suffered from this)

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17 minutes ago, RoyCronin said:

The Two Jakes: whatever happened to Madeline Stowe?

Did she and Linda Fiorentino run away together to some neo-noir Actress rehab center? 

 

In the case of Miss Stowe here Roy, you may recall just a few years back she guest hosted on TCM for a short while. Might have been during that extended time in which Bob Osborne was away during his bout with health issues.

And in MY view, her stint was WAY too short a while.

I thought she was absolutely great in her presentations and vocal talents, and at the time had hoped she might become one of TCM's regular hosts.

(...and wasn't too hard on the ol' eyes either, of course)

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12 hours ago, RoyCronin said:

Could "The Bedroom Window" and/or "House of Games" qualify?

Not familiar with the first one, but I would definitely put House of Games in there!

I don't know that there needs to be a whole separate series. I wouldn't mind just seeing Eddie introducing one of these modern films as part of the regular series once in a while, say one a month or so. Or they could be included as "bonus extras", perhaps later at the night than the regular time slot, like when they once dropped in a few more modern films like Saturday Night Fever as "bonus extras" during one of the seasons of The Essentials.

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Joe, I wouldn't agree that all of your 1960s films are noir, but that's an endless discussion, and I love having your list. Two films from the 1960s that definitely belong on the list, however, are Five Miles to Midnight and Return from the Ashes, both set in Paris and both worth watching. I know some people make 1959 the last year of real noir, but Mirage (1965) feels like classic noir in every way, one of the best amnesia noirs, whereas Return from the Ashes seems more transitional or neo-noir, because the sexes are reversed, with Maximilian Schell in the traditional femme fatale role.

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4 hours ago, kingrat said:

Five Miles to Midnight and Return from the Ashes,

I have seen and liked the first I just haven't reviewed it or put it on the list. I haven't seen Return From The Ashes.

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Many mentioned were films I didn't and don't much care for, but that's not a consideration here.  ;)

I'd add--  LET NO MAN WRITE MY EPITAPH, and my constant wish for PRESSURE POINT.  And I'm surprised there's been NO mention of..  SERPICO,  THE USUAL SUSPECTS and THE FRENCH CONNECTION!  :o

Sepiatone

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My knowledge of neo noirs and the majority of the titles mentioned on this thread is limited. I did see, though, and thoroughly enjoy Devil in a Blue Dress a couple of years ago. Here's a review I wrote of it at the time for those unfamiliar with a film that deserves to be better known.

 

 

Devil in a Blue Dress is an atmospheric neo noir, set in post-war L.A., different from others inasmuch as it's told from a black perspective.

As Easy Rawlins (what a great name), Denzel Washington's voice over narration immediately establishes the premise of the film with his first words, "It was summer 1948 and I needed money." 

Easy is a war vet unfairly fired from a factory job, now falling behind on the mortgage payments of his two bedroom bungalow in a black suburb of town. He meets a man in a bar who "does favours for friends." He wants to hire Easy for a job without telling him what it is exactly. 

After the man leaves the bartender, who knows the guy and just calls him a "businessman", tells Easy, "ain't nothing to worry about." 

Says Washington in his narration, "Now when somebody tells me ain't nothing to worry about I usually look down to see if my fly is open." 

Still, Easy needs the money and it won't be long, as we all know, before he will take that job which involves finding the missing girlfriend of a former mayoralty candidate who wants to patch things up with her, he is told. The girlfriend, who is white, likes black men, and, therefore, Easy is a good candidate to try to track her down in some of the illegal jazz and gambling black hot spots in town she may be inclined to frequent. 

Along the way Easy Rawlins will encounter the usual ingredients to be found in films of this nature, including easy sex, a hood with a gun, a dead body, racist cops ready to frame him, more goons with guns and political corruption. Eventually feeling himself in over his head Easy will reluctantly call upon reinforcements in the form of an old street chum from Texas named Mouse. Mouse has a serious predilection towards derby hats, orange ties and shooting people - a lot. 

Devil in a Blue Dress will be a delight for noir fans. It beautifully establishes the mood of late '40s segregated Los Angeles, with great art direction (the film opens with a wonderful crane shot of Central Avenue teaming with life), costumes and the jazz music, of course, emblematic of that time in African American culture. 

The story, written by the film's director, Carl Franklin, is serviceable enough upon which to hang the framework of this film, the tale involving enough to keep viewers attentive. But it's really the ambience of the film, that time capsule feeling for noirish L.A., and the performances of the cast that really seize and hold the attention here. 

Denzel Washington is wonderful in his not overly bright everyman role as a guy who needs the money and starts to play amateur detective. Washington brings great conviction, as well as charm, to the part of an ordinary guy who soon finds himself in deep waters. He has the strong likeability factor that makes a viewer automatically root for his character.

Tom Sizemore is chillingly effective as the gangster who hires him. He is a person ready to commit acts of great violence and then laugh it off a few seconds later. There is a scene in which Sizemore comes to Washington's "rescue" when the latter is surrounded by some loud mouthed white preppy types, but the violent manner in which he saves him may disturb Easy's character even more than the white youths ready to physically accost him. 

Perhaps best of all in the film, though, is Don Cheadle's scene stealing portrayal of "Mouse," Easy's street pal who thinks that a gun is a solution for every problem. Mouse is clearly psychopathic in his impulsive homicidal inclinations but, fortunately for Easy, he genuinely likes him and wants to help. He is a good psychopath to have on Easy's side, but even Easy has to watch out when Mouse is drunk. 

There is a dark humour to be found in the film, at times, much of it involving Mouse. At one point Easy tells him, "You haven't been in my house five minutes and you done shot somebody." 

In a later scene he tells Mouse not to shoot a captive he leaves in his custody. When he later returns to find the captive dead (choked by Mouse, not shot, his companion is eager to point out to him) though Easy still doesn't appreciate the subtle difference, the man still being dead and all, Mouse replies, "Easy, look, if you didn't want him killed, why'd you leave him with me?" 

Devil in a Blue Dress is a stylish, satisfying, emotionally involving film noir trip to the seedy side of segregated post-war L.A. that, I strongly suspect, many viewers will want to take more than one time. I just discovered this little jewel and know I will. 

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15 hours ago, Dargo said:

So Cid. As I mentioned earlier in this thing, it's been decades since I've watched it, and so I'd like to know what you thought of Red Rock West

(...did you also think it too "referential" and thus perhaps too "self-conscious" and as kingrat mentioned earlier that he found it to be, or not so much so?)

Actually had to go to Wikipedia to fully recall the story.  ImDB rates it 7/10 and I guess I could agree with that.  Nicholas Cage is one of those actors that I like, but somehow often does not impress in some roles.  Too laconic?  Lazy?

But RRW is a good movie if you have never seen it or have not seen it in a long time.  Man walks into a bar......

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Many of Mickey Rourke's films seem to qualify as neo-noir.

Most especially, Johnny Handsome.

I'd also recommend Christopher Walken movies as noir. King of New York and At Close Range (with Sean Penn) are good examples, but with Walken there are many others.

And lest we forget, Things To Do in Denver When You're Dead.

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20 hours ago, Dargo said:

Oh yeah, I remember sitting through The Two Jakes when it was first released, CI.

And also remember thinking about half way through it that director Nicholson should have gotten himself somebody in the editing both, and evidently somebody other than himself, who knew and understood the idea of "Pacing" and the proper "flow" a movie should have.

(...and thought it a real same that his otherwise well-photographed, well-acted and nicely recreated world of postwar L.A. suffered from this)

There were some wonderful scenes though. There were two scenes with Nicholson and Meg Tilly (the big reveal scene and the final one) that were very touching and moving.

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Stormy Monday (a British-made film from 1988; directed by Mike Figgis) is another neo-noir that would work quite nicely. It's an enigmatic film that purposely ends before all is fully explained, but as a mood piece and performance showcase, it's triumphant. Sean Bean and Melanie Griffith have extraordinary romantic chemistry and are very enderaring, while Tommy Lee Jones and Sting make a pair of decidedly seedy underworld characters. Its anchored by a glorious jazz soundtrack, and striking, moody cinematography by Roger Deakins.

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stormy_monday.jpg

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On 7/11/2019 at 12:12 PM, Dargo said:

And perhaps also hosted by Eddie Muller. (although I could easily envision our friend CigarJoe around here doing this gig too)

Seems I've now seen almost every film that Eddie introduces (and very well I might add) on his Noir Alley series at least a few times in the past, and so how about some "new (cinematic) blood" here!

My initial film suggestions for this series would be the following:

L.A. Confidential (1997)

Body Heat (1981)

The Last Seduction (1994)

Blood Simple (1984)

Red Rock West (1993)

So, whaddaya think here, folks?

(...oh and btw...the first person who tells me these films are not "classics" and solely and/or primarily because they were produced after the fall of the studio system era, is gonna find demsleves sleepin' wit' da fishes...well okay, not really, but you know what I mean here)

 

How about adding Chinatown (1974)? 

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9 minutes ago, filmnoirguy said:

How about adding Chinatown (1974)? 

Yes, definitely, fng.

In fact, you may have somehow missed my earlier comment on page-1 to CinemaInternational where I said I always thought Chinatown (although only alluding to it by referencing Nicholson having his nose sliced in it) would make a great double bill with Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

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21 hours ago, Dargo said:

Oh yeah, I remember sitting through The Two Jakes when it was first released, CI.

And also remember thinking about half way through it that director Nicholson should have gotten himself somebody in the editing both, and evidently somebody other than himself, who knew and understood the idea of "Pacing" and the proper "flow" a movie should have.

(...and thought it a real same that his otherwise well-photographed, well-acted and nicely recreated world of postwar L.A. suffered from this)

I remember thinking besides all the above that Nicholson's V.O. narrations went on and on and on, He should have trimmed that down too.

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46 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

There were some wonderful scenes though. There were two scenes with Nicholson and Meg Tilly (the big reveal scene and the final one) that were very touching and moving.

Yep CI, as I noted earlier, I thought TTJ had some nice scenes, but was primarily let down by its editing, and with too many of its scenes beginning to seem to last and go on longer than what I thought they should.

(...it began to remind me of Cimino's Heaven's Gate in this regard)

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20 hours ago, RoyCronin said:

The Two Jakes: whatever happened to Madeline Stowe?

Did she and Linda Fiorentino run away together to some neo-noir Actress rehab center? 

 

Shes in two other good Neo Noirs Blink and China Moon

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4 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

I remember thinking besides all the above that Nicholson's V.O. narrations went on and on and on, He should have trimmed that down too.

Good point, CJ. Now that you mentioned it, I now recall this being a bit of a problem with the film also.

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7 hours ago, TomJH said:

Devil in a Blue Dress is an atmospheric neo noir, set in post-war L.A., different from others inasmuch as it's told from a black perspective.

Whats a real same is that they only made Devil In A Blue Dress when they also have 

Charcoal Joe

Rose Gold

Little Green

Blonde Faith

Cinnamon Kiss

Little Scarlet

Six Easy Pieces

Bad Boy Brawly Brown

A Little Yellow Dog

Black Betty

Gone Fishin’

White Butterfly

A Red Death

All excellent Easy Rawlins L.A. detective books written by Walter Mosely.

...And check out another Mosely Neo Noir called Fearless (1995) starring Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul) Bill Nunn, and Cynda Williams, its very humorous. 

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