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Here comes Film Noir! So, what's Noir, anyway?


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Summer of Darkness and many noirs start on  Friday at 6a edt.

 

so, can we agree on something resembling one description of what Film Noir is? i hope so, but fear there isn't one. "I sort of know what it is when I see it" is one poor way to describe it. and like Eddie Muller says in the Noir promo "It's more that just sleazy detectives."

 

so, if you've got 2 cents, take a swing at what Noir is (or for that matter, isn't.) to me, it isn't a Police Procedural ala The Naked City (1948), a wonderful movie, but sorry, it isn't Noir.

 

this 24 Hr weekly run of Noirs on nine Fridays over two months makes me delirious!

 

 

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Summer of Darkness and many noirs start on  Friday at 6a edt.

 

so, can we agree on something resembling one description of what Film Noir is? i hope so, but fear there isn't one. "I sort of know what it is when I see it" is one poor way to describe it. and like Eddie Muller says in the Noir promo "It's more that just sleazy detectives."

 

Sleazy detectives and dangerous dames, filmed mostly at night.

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Summer of Darkness and many noirs start on  Friday at 6a edt.

 

so, can we agree on something resembling one description of what Film Noir is? i hope so, but fear there isn't one. "I sort of know what it is when I see it" is one poor way to describe it. and like Eddie Muller says in the Noir promo "It's more that just sleazy detectives."

 

so, if you've got 2 cents, take a swing at what Noir is (or for that matter, isn't.) to me, it isn't a Police Procedural ala The Naked City (1948), a wonderful movie, but sorry, it isn't Noir.

 

this 24 Hr weekly run of Noirs on nine Fridays over two months makes me delirious!

this 24 Hr weekly run of Noirs on nine Fridays over two months makes me delirious!

 

Wow, thanks for the heads up.

 

Noirs are why there are movies for me. Anything else is just filler.

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if anyone is enrolled in the 'Film Noir Course'

https://www.canvas.net/browse/bsu/tcm/courses/film-noir

 

just what is the "Canvas Network"? Is it safe?

& do we have to use our real names??

:unsure:

 

I don't have alot of time, but wouldn't mind maybe 'auditing' the class....

If , with a limited amount of time, I had to choose between  taking the course or watching all the Friday films, I'd watch the films.

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OK, here goes; these are  some elements of noir.

1.  Great camerawork, strange angles, and the interplay of shadows as foreshadowing.  Example; the shadow of window shutters falling on Lana Turners face early in the film The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)  suggests she will eventually end up in prison.

 

2. Cigarette smoke; Only reason I can think of for this, it makes more shadows for the cameraman to play with.

 

3. Secrets.  They range from ones that could just topple financial empires, to ones that cause/trigger/choose your verb alcoholism (The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), to ones that cause a serious beating or murder (am thinking about what's been shown several times recently on TCM--I don't want to spoil a good film that hasn't been shown recently; Kiss Me Deadly  (1955).

 

4. An amoral woman--or man--or both.  Sticking with KMD, the villain is a killing machine--just to satisfy curiosity & material wants.  In Noir, the villain(s) get what they deserve maybe half the time.

 

5.  Overwhelming cynicism (applies only to films made after WWII--noirs made during WWII like Double Indemnity (1944) usually left some room for hope)

 

6.There's more going on than meets the eye and ear.  Gilda (1946) is a prime example of a script full of innuendo making it past the Hays Office because they were too dim to pick up on it.  There's a article in the Gilda thread that picks that script apart and makes plain what had to be coded to get by the Hays censors.

 

Time for someone else to join in.

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So, what's Noir, anyway?

 

It means black.

 

Film noir translates to black film or dark film. Not talking about the colour black - talking about the theme(s) embedded in the film's narrative.

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Yep, and they both ended up horizontal. Sometimes you've

got to use your noggin for more than a hat rack. (Semi/

quasi arcane bonus).

 

During my years in the news business, I traveled around the country a lot, and one summer I was all over the country several times in about three months, going to many large and small cities.

 

Well, that summer, I met 3 total strangers twice in different cities.

 

A young guy in a bar in Chicago, then again in a Buddhist temple in San Francisco a couple of months later.

A lady street singer/beggar in Chicago, then about two months later in New York.

A young man in New Hampshire, then again at a casino in South Lake Tahoe.

 

That made me wonder how many other people I would meet twice every few months, if I had continued to travel for another year. And how many people did I almost see a second time, but we were a block or two apart when we were near each other the second time.

 

I figured there must have been a few dozen people in the same city at the same time as me, at least twice each, but we just didn’t see each other that second time.

 

I had a friend in Mississippi who went to New York twice a year on buying trips, and I went to New York about once a year on business during the 60s and 70s. We agreed that we both might be in New York at the same time someday, so we agreed to call each other any time we planned New York trips. And sure enough. One time we were both in New York at the same time, and we had a lot of fun together. One time in 20 years.

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Some dope who is trying to hide out, but

gets a job as a pump jockey at a gas station.

So, to earn money, he should have gotten a job where he had no contact with anyone? He should have gotten an on-line job. Oh wait, this was 1946.

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so, if you've got 2 cents, take a swing at what Noir is (or for that matter, isn't.) to me, it isn't a Police Procedural ala The Naked City (1948), a wonderful movie, but sorry, it isn't Noir.

 

I also think procedurals are not Film Noir, another one is Call Northside 777. Another one outside of that is Brute Force, I don't see any Film Noir there either. Just because it is a dank, dark prison doesn't make it noir, and Hume Cronyn was a bad casting, lol.

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I also think procedurals are not Film Noir, another one is Call Northside 777. Another one outside of that is Brute Force, I don't see any Film Noir there either. Just because it is a dank, dark prison doesn't make it noir, and Hume Cronyn was a bad casting, lol.

It would be an interesting exercise to analyze every crime film from the '40s and '50s, and determince whether each is or is not a noir.

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It would be an interesting exercise to analyze every crime film from the '40s and '50s, and determince whether each is or is not a noir.

Is there a noir slide rule to determine that?

Just kidding.  I guess I should be taking that course.

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doan forget about film armoir...

 

old b&w crime flicks with french furniture. :huh:  :lol:

 

It was on a film armoir that noir was probably thought up, lol. If it is B&W with a fedora hat in it then film noir all the way, great marketing to the masses.

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I also think procedurals are not Film Noir, another one is Call Northside 777. Another one outside of that is Brute Force, I don't see any Film Noir there either. Just because it is a dank, dark prison doesn't make it noir, and Hume Cronyn was a bad casting, lol.

 

Brute Force is considered a noir (e.g. the film is in the book Film Noir (Ward \ Silver),  because the Hume Cronyn is obsessed.  Obsession is a key noir character trait as is how those around them deal with this person.  

 

It is a fairly common noir theme;  e.g. Leave Her To Heaven.           

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any crime film set in NYC with shadowy late afternoon (especially in a tenement building) daytime lighting is film noir. :P

And the blinds, don't forget the venetian blinds.

 

Plus, couches with stripes, drapes with flowers, and a martini setup on the sideboard.

 

*sigh* Musta been a good time to live in NYC and have lots of money.

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And the blinds, don't forget the venetian blinds.

 

Plus, couches with stripes, drapes with flowers, and a martini setup on the sideboard.

 

*sigh* Musta been a good time to live in NYC and have lots of money.

 

The late 1940's was a great time to live in NYC even if you weren't rich.   My parents rented a 2 bedroom apt.on the Upper West Side in 1950 for $40 a month, and cheap entertainment was everywhere.  You could even buy a fair sized row house in Greenwich Village or Chelsea as late as 1959 for the equivalent of $250,000 in today's dollars.  New York's always had its unaffordable neighborhoods, but until the late 90's they didn't encompass pretty much the entire city.

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The late 1940's was a great time to live in NYC even if you weren't rich.   My parents rented a 2 bedroom apt.on the Upper West Side in 1950 for $40 a month, and cheap entertainment was everywhere.  You could even buy a fair sized row house in Greenwich Village or Chelsea as late as 1959 for the equivalent of $250,000 in today's dollars.  New York's always had its unaffordable neighborhoods, but until the late 90's they didn't encompass pretty much the entire city.

Imagine growing up in NYC in the early 1950s. Must have been wonderful.

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