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NoirPawn

Do You Think Noir Could Save Cinema Again?

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I just read an article that explained how the current box office scene is quite dismal for another year (you can read it here).  Well, today I was listening to Prof. Edwards' video lecture where he stated that at one point you had 80-90 million people visiting the theaters weekly during the noir period!  Incredible!  As he pointed out, that was somewhat due to the fact that there was no television, and certainly no internet, but I found myself wondering that perhaps it was also because the movies were just better crafted then.  I am somewhat surprised to find myself writing that as I never was one for the old classics, but with each passing year I just find myself being turned off by modern Hollywood (and think this is why I have suddenly developed a love for these noir flicks).  Sadly, today the stories are either all juvenile, or if they do deal with adult themes, that inevitably means a "R" rated flick with graphic violence, sex and/or profanity.  Again, not interested in any of that.

 

So, I was wondering: if, by some miracle, Hollywood decided to return to the classic noir formula, do you think people would go back to the theaters?  And by return to the old formula, I mean just that: movies made not with CGI but physical sets; not loaded with "R" content but rather having mature themes portrayed with "taste, restraint, and artistry" (as Eddie Muller put it).  It would also require a return to characters who looked like they had lived a bit rather than resembling twenty-somethings barely old enough to shave.   :) You get the idea.  Pretty much the opposite of everything Hollywood is dishing out these days (color is okay ;) ).  

 

What do you think?  Would a return - if such a thing was possible - to film noir mean a return of contemporary audiences to the theater?

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I just read an article that explained how the current box office scene is quite dismal for another year (you can read it here).  Well, today I was listening to Prof. Edwards' video lecture where he stated that at one point you had 80-90 million people visiting the theaters weekly during the noir period!  Incredible!  As he pointed out, that was somewhat due to the fact that there was no television, and certainly no internet, but I found myself wondering that perhaps it was also because the movies were just better crafted then.  I am somewhat surprised to find myself writing that as I never was one for the old classics, but with each passing year I just find myself being turned off by modern Hollywood (and think this is why I have suddenly developed a love for these noir flicks).  Sadly, today the stories are either all juvenile, or if they do deal with adult themes, that inevitably means a "R" rated flick with graphic violence, sex and/or profanity.  Again, not interested in any of that.

 

 

 

I don't think anyone not involved in the actual business of moviemaking should worry about box office receipts. It's never a clear indicator of quality. And only in Hollywood would someone consider a movie that's made nearly one and a half billion dollars(the Avengers 2) a disappointment. That's an obscene amount of money. Also, ticket sales are up this year, just not as much as analysts had expected.

 

And, sorry, I may have the wrong opinion for a TCM forum, but I think anyone who claims that movies were "better" 50, 60, 70 years ago is just being a snob. Either that or they're simply ignoring the great works that are being done today.It's true that the hollywood studio system has become more dependent on tentpole films, big budget spectacles designed to appeal to the widest audience possible, but there are still hundreds of intelligent, unique, challenging films made every year. In America, even. I'm not even taking into account the vast number of foreign films that are now easier for Americans to access than ever. 

 

I think there is a tendency to romanticize the films of the past, to ascribe a higher value to them in retrospect. But it's eye opening to consider that many of the films we are covering in this course were negatively received in their day. That they were considered too graphic, too sexual, too violent by many critics.

 

Film is an evolving art form, just like every art form ever known to man. It's fine to prefer older movies to newer movies, but it's a bit trickier to say unequivocally one is better than the other.

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I see noir all around.  And I seek it out wherever I can find it.  There have been several great noirish movies over the last 20 years or so, and while they weren't all successful at the box office I enjoyed a lot of them.  Some were concious in evoking noir, while others were more subtle.

 

Here's a short list of some recent (loosely speaking) noirish movies I liked:

 

A Simple Plan

Red Rock West

The Man Who Wasn't There

Brick

In Bruges

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

The Limey

 

There are many more, some very well known, so I limit myself here to one's you may not have noticed at the time.

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I don't think anyone not involved in the actual business of moviemaking should worry about box office receipts. It's never a clear indicator of quality. And only in Hollywood would someone consider a movie that's made nearly one and a half billion dollars(the Avengers 2) a disappointment. That's an obscene amount of money. Also, ticket sales are up this year, just not as much as analysts had expected.

 

And, sorry, I may have the wrong opinion for a TCM forum, but I think anyone who claims that movies were "better" 50, 60, 70 years ago is just being a snob. Either that or they're simply ignoring the great works that are being done today.It's true that the hollywood studio system has become more dependent on tentpole films, big budget spectacles designed to appeal to the widest audience possible, but there are still hundreds of intelligent, unique, challenging films made every year. In America, even. I'm not even taking into account the vast number of foreign films that are now easier for Americans to access than ever. 

 

I think there is a tendency to romanticize the films of the past, to ascribe a higher value to them in retrospect. But it's eye opening to consider that many of the films we are covering in this course were negatively received in their day. That they were considered too graphic, too sexual, too violent by many critics.

 

Film is an evolving art form, just like every art form ever known to man. It's fine to prefer older movies to newer movies, but it's a bit trickier to say unequivocally one is better than the other.

 

 

 

Thanks for the comments!  You certainly raise some interesting points.  When I wrote this, I did consider the idea that nostalgia is what makes the old movies seem so good but I ultimately rejected that idea for one simple reason:  I find that these old classics stick with me in a way 99% of modern movies don't.  After they are long over, I find myself thinking about them, and the moral lessons they contained, much more so than I have with that vast majority of contemporary films.  Granted, there is a important distinction to be made: the old classics are the movies that survived the crucible of that period; nobody remembers the many failures that I am sure existed as well.  When it comes to contemporary cinema, we are exposed to both the good and the bad simultaneously, something that makes the modern scene seem much more shabby.  But, again, that's still doesn't disabuse me of the idea that there was just something superior to film noir.  Eddie Muller seemed to have made a similar observation when he wrote:  "Today, the cynicism and fatalism found in classic film noir seems almost comforting compared to the ugliness and pessimism we confront in the media, on movie screens, and in the streets. We watch film noir with an endless fascination, and an undeniable aspect of our fascination is the realization that, as a culture, we will never be that stylish again."   

 

I think he hit the nail on the head.  

 

I am also reminded of what Joseph Pearce wrote about why we should read the literary classics:

 

"The great works of literature are beautiful expressions of that collective inheritance, showing us the truth of the permanent things and the truth about ourselves that we can see reflected in the permanent things. In short and in sum, reading the classics liberates us from the narrow-mindedness of the fads and fashions of our own time and connects us with the bedrock realities of what it is to be truly and fully human.

 

...

 

"Any contemporary literature which endeavours to ignore the classics will be fatally flawed by its embrace of the shallow and the superficial. Such literature, in refusing the life-giving roots of tradition, will wither and die within a few years of its being published because, as C. S. Lewis reminds us, fashions are always coming and going, but mostly going!"

 

Unfortunately, I find the majority of contemporary cinema to be guilty of "embracing the shallow and the superficial."

 

But that is just me.   ;)

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I see noir all around.  And I seek it out wherever I can find it.  There have been several great noirish movies over the last 20 years or so, and while they weren't all successful at the box office I enjoyed a lot of them.  Some were concious in evoking noir, while others were more subtle.

 

Here's a short list of some recent (loosely speaking) noirish movies I liked:

 

A Simple Plan

Red Rock West

The Man Who Wasn't There

Brick

In Bruges

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

The Limey

 

There are many more, some very well known, so I limit myself here to one's you may not have noticed at the time.

 

First, sorry for the double post, everyone.  I am still getting used to these forums.  Should have used "Multiquote.'  

 

Thanks for the list, CitizenKing!  Coincidentally, I had a friend recommend The Man Who Wasn't There and watched it last night.  For me, this movie is an example of why I think the contemporary scene is just inferior to the authentic period of film noir.  While the Cohen brothers nailed to look of authentic film noir, I think they missed the story mark by a wide margin.  The old classics had a distinctive style, as Prof. Edwards reminds us, but the old directors never seemed to lose sight of the fact that the style was there to serve the story, and not vice versa.  Unfortunately, with The Man Who Wasn't There, I got the distinct impression that the Cohens were so obsessed with style that they forgot the substance.  Unlike some of my noir favorites, I felt the story was almost an afterthought, that the real purpose of the movie was to see if they could get away with copying the style but not the substance.  Of course, this is just me - and I admit I have an odd taste when it comes to movies - but it was an idea that stuck me as I watched that movie last night.

 

Again, thanks for the list. I will be checking out the other films you mention!   :)

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I'm a snob and proudly admit that. I think what is a major turn off for me is the amount of gratuitous violence and sex on screen. Yes, this existed in earlier films, but it was more implied and/or less overt. Film makers were very creative about skirting the Hays Code regulations. As an example, the 3-second kiss rule, yet Hitchcock was able to do a series of kisses over 2 minutes of dialog to not only stay within in the code but make it sensual at the same time. However, if you film this today with just 2 minutes of straight kissing, it'll turn off the audience. It doesn't need to be so blatant today, but most films are that way. What I find disappointing is the lack of depth in the blockbuster films. The last one I watched was the latest Batman, and it was horrible. The plot was streamlined in favor of CGI. If I do watch modern films, they tend to be either foreign or American independent films with strong plots and good acting.

 

I'm fortunate to live in an area where I can watch classic films on the big screen every weekend. There's a silent movie house in Fremont and Stanford Theatre (a movie palace) in Palo Alto that shows ONLY classic films. Surprisingly, the theaters are packed with viewers young and old, so I think that if there was a return to showing one classic film at every theatre, it will generate revenue. People often do get exhausted with the same movies out there today that watching classic films is a breath of fresh air.

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I agree that film is an evolving art form.  However, I do also agree that what films are made today are very much lacking in depth and quality.  I have heard many people call Hollywood remake city.  It's not a flattering nick name either.  If they aren't making a remake then it's a perversion of a fairy tale or another attempt to revive the musical genre.  For me, they aren't doing a very good job.  I'm not amused or entertained by movies at this point.  I find it a sad state we've come to.  It's almost like Hollywood has lost it's inspiration.  Perhaps film makers are just as frustrated as the audience is. 

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I agree that film is an evolving art form.  However, I do also agree that what films are made today are very much lacking in depth and quality.  I have heard many people call Hollywood remake city.  It's not a flattering nick name either.  If they aren't making a remake then it's a perversion of a fairy tale or another attempt to revive the musical genre.  For me, they aren't doing a very good job.  I'm not amused or entertained by movies at this point.  I find it a sad state we've come to.  It's almost like Hollywood has lost it's inspiration.  Perhaps film makers are just as frustrated as the audience is. 

John Huston's THE MALTESE FALCON was a remake..... Just saying.

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I agree that film is an evolving art form.  However, I do also agree that what films are made today are very much lacking in depth and quality.  I have heard many people call Hollywood remake city.  It's not a flattering nick name either.  If they aren't making a remake then it's a perversion of a fairy tale or another attempt to revive the musical genre.  For me, they aren't doing a very good job.  I'm not amused or entertained by movies at this point.  I find it a sad state we've come to.  It's almost like Hollywood has lost it's inspiration.  Perhaps film makers are just as frustrated as the audience is. 

 

The whole 'Hollywood is remake obsessed' argument is nothing new. Anyone saying it's new clearly hasn't looked back to when The Maltese Falcon was made three different times in a ten year period.

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Movies, TV, books, etc. are all ever changing.  It's the nature of anything.  I really enjoy film Noir, old mystery movies, etc. But, if the producers and directors had been able to use today's standards ( no censorship) and technology, they would have.  So it is really a moot point.

Could be wrong, but the first movie made of Raymond Chandler's Farewell My Lovely was The Falcon Takes Over and then came Murder, My Sweet and then Farewell My Lovely with Robert Mitchum.  Personally I rank Mitchum's number one, The Falcon second and Murder, My Sweet third.  To a great extent, each was produced based upon the expected market and the allowable standards of the time, not to mention the technology and expense.  FML probably comes closer to how Chandler conceived it.

IMO, a lot of the really enjoyable Film Noir movies were produced as "B" movies pretty much as lots of TV and direct to video movies of today.  Never meant to be classics, just good entertainment.

Actually I strongly dislike the overuse of loud music, loud noisy soundtracks and excessive action in many of today's movies.  The old movies were better in that respect, but probably because they couldn't do what they can today.

Case in point:  how many silent movies were made after 1930?   How many black and white movies were made after color became simple and inexpensive?

TCM recently showed LA Confidential, (gad, was it made that long ago?) which I think would classify as a modern Film Noir.  They used every technology they could to make it.

As for sets vs. green screen, won't happen.  Too expensive and too time consuming with very, very, very expensive actors and crew now.

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In short....nope. It's like asking to go back in time,it just isn't going to happen. Noir isn't for everyone,and I don't care how well it's done....you will never get large numbers of people lined up at a theater each week,to see it like the old days.

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In short....nope. It's like asking to go back in time,it just isn't going to happen. Noir isn't for everyone,and I don't care how well it's done....you will never get large numbers of people lined up at a theater each week,to see it like the old days.

 

The Artist (black/white and silent film) was packed when it came out in my city a few years back. It also won Best Picture. That doesn't mean there will be a huge wave of new silent films, but if an old style film were to come out once in every long blue moon, I'm sure it would generate interest.

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The Artist (black/white and silent film) was packed when it came out in my city a few years back. It also won Best Picture. That doesn't mean there will be a huge wave of new silent films, but if an old style film were to come out once in every long blue moon, I'm sure it would generate interest.

Oh I loved The Artist,I'm a silent fan myself. I'm just answering his question about film noir being a regular thing again,that draws insane numbers of people to the theaters. It's never going to happen. The world has changed too much,to draw people's attention back to theaters on a weekly basis like it once did. But it would be nice to see some more films made in the classic sense. I noticed you go to Stanford Theater,I go there...check out Shirley Temples stuff on display this weekend.

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i wish someone would make a noir in the same vein as the artist. With the black and white, people keep their clothes on, no blood and guts, or profanity and STILL able to make a great movie and tell a great story. Doubt if will happen, plus we live in a different time. I can always stick with the classics.  The question is can a film maker make a film that sticks to the production code of the time and pull it off successfully? For me lean towards, doubt it. Are there film makers on this board up to the challenge???

 

The fact that TCM releases the  classics and film goers still love seeing them on the big screen means there is a love for that type of film

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I'm a snob and proudly admit that. I think what is a major turn off for me is the amount of gratuitous violence and sex on screen. Yes, this existed in earlier films, but it was more implied and/or less overt. Film makers were very creative about skirting the Hays Code regulations. As an example, the 3-second kiss rule, yet Hitchcock was able to do a series of kisses over 2 minutes of dialog to not only stay within in the code but make it sensual at the same time. However, if you film this today with just 2 minutes of straight kissing, it'll turn off the audience. It doesn't need to be so blatant today, but most films are that way. What I find disappointing is the lack of depth in the blockbuster films. The last one I watched was the latest Batman, and it was horrible. The plot was streamlined in favor of CGI. If I do watch modern films, they tend to be either foreign or American independent films with strong plots and good acting.

 

 

 

I couldn't have said it better.  The graphic violence and sex and profanity in modern movies just rubs me the wrong way.  Just for the sake of background, I am not a kid, nor am I a "those darn kids and their rock and roll" senior citizen.  Rather, I am a forty-something guy who has grown up watching a gamut of films that spanned from "G" to "R".  I guess what I am trying to say that I am not "a prude" when it comes to these things.  Having said that, I just can't stand the filth of modern cinema.  I don't find it "edgy" or "daring," rather I find it lazy at best, and downright disturbing at worst.  I have always found it interesting that Hollywood's so-called "Golden Era" is centrally located in the Hays Code district.  Interesting, that.  Instead of limiting artistic freedom, it seems to have unleashed it.  Maybe there is a lesson to be learnt there?  

 

And, yeah, don't get me started with the $300-million dollar cartoons that Hollywood is pumping out these days.  I could weep for what Hollywood has done to sci-fi these past ten or so years.  They have completely turned the genre into a medium for after school cartoons.  :angry:

 

 

 

I agree that film is an evolving art form.  However, I do also agree that what films are made today are very much lacking in depth and quality.  I have heard many people call Hollywood remake city.  It's not a flattering nick name either.  If they aren't making a remake then it's a perversion of a fairy tale or another attempt to revive the musical genre.  For me, they aren't doing a very good job.  I'm not amused or entertained by movies at this point.  I find it a sad state we've come to.  It's almost like Hollywood has lost it's inspiration.  Perhaps film makers are just as frustrated as the audience is. 

 

I think you hit it on the head, too.  But for the old movies, I've been seriously thinking about cancelling my NetFlix account because if there are four new movies a year that look interesting to me, it is a lot.  And, sadly, of the four, maybe one actually proves watchable (watchable, mind you; not great).  

 

The whole 'Hollywood is remake obsessed' argument is nothing new. Anyone saying it's new clearly hasn't looked back to when The Maltese Falcon was made three different times in a ten year period.

 

That is true, but I think it is not so much about remakes - albeit, Hollywood seems to have a kamikaze attitude when it comes to remaking avowed classics, cult or otherwise - but about what in the software world is called "iteration, not innovation."  In other words, Hollywood is stuck on things like Star Wars 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc., Jurassic Park 1, 2, 3, etc, Die Hard 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.  That is what is so silly.  Yes, the Maltese Falcon was remade, but that seemed more about perfecting the film that just milking it for all it is worth.  It is interesting that there never was a Maltese Falcon 2, 3, 4, nor a The Killers 2, 3, 4, or a Laura 2, 3, 4.  I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to say if those were new movies today, we could count on such iteration.    

 

Actually I strongly dislike the overuse of loud music, loud noisy soundtracks and excessive action in many of today's movies.  The old movies were better in that respect, but probably because they couldn't do what they can today.

 

As for sets vs. green screen, won't happen.  Too expensive and too time consuming with very, very, very expensive actors and crew now.

 

That is an excellent point about sound.  I completely agree with you on that.  Like you said, it probably was an unintentional but beneficial side effect of the audio technology of the day, but maybe there is a lesson in that.  I hear people are returning to records because they find the sound of MP3s and CDs to be too antiseptic.  Maybe Hollywood should get a clue about the use of sound in modern movies, too.  Too often Hollywood acts like a kid with the latest Apple iPhone.  

 

I don't necessarily agree with real sets being too expensive vis-a-vis CGI.  I recently read an article that said that CGI studios are going bankrupt left and right because the cost of AAA CGI is very expensive, and the studios are starting to refuse to pay a break even rate.  Imagine if Hollywood would take a fraction of their CGI budget and return to old fashioned sets.  I can't image such sets, especially for an intimate genre like film noir, would come anywhere close to the cost of a typical CGI-laden film.  

 

Oh I loved The Artist,I'm a silent fan myself. I'm just answering his question about film noir being a regular thing again,that draws insane numbers of people to the theaters. It's never going to happen. The world has changed too much,to draw people's attention back to theaters on a weekly basis like it once did. But it would be nice to see some more films made in the classic sense. I noticed you go to Stanford Theater,I go there...check out Shirley Temples stuff on display this weekend.

 

I don't necessarily agree.  For me, the classic films noir are like Shakespearean plays: their emotional hook, if you will, is timeless.  I mean, just the fact that so many people of all age groups are enjoying TCM's Summer of Darkness festival proves that (not to mention the many festivals pop up around the country).  It is a strange situation.  Hollywood isn't making new films noir (with the exception of the occasional passion project like LA Confidential, etc.) because people aren't interested.  How do we know that?  Because Hollywood is making any films noir.  It is very circular reasoning.  Yet, when they do, be it LA Confidential or even sci-fi noir like Blade Runner, such films become almost instant classics.  To me, this just proves that nothing has changed other than Hollywood attitudes towards the genre.  

 

i wish someone would make a noir in the same vein as the artist. With the black and white, people keep their clothes on, no blood and guts, or profanity and STILL able to make a great movie and tell a great story. Doubt if will happen, plus we live in a different time. I can always stick with the classics.  The question is can a film maker make a film that sticks to the production code of the time and pull it off successfully? For me lean towards, doubt it. Are there film makers on this board up to the challenge???

 

The fact that TCM releases the  classics and film goers still love seeing them on the big screen means there is a love for that type of film

 

Well said!  And, again, I agree with the lack of a need for profanity, etc.  Again, I never watched The Maltese Falcon and said, "That was good, but it needed more sex."   :D   Interesting, a lot of my friends feel the same way.  I think the times might be changing for the better.  The question is: will Hollywood listen?

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I couldn't have said it better. The graphic violence and sex and profanity in modern movies just rubs me the wrong way. Just for the sake of background, I am not a kid, nor am I a "those darn kids and their rock and roll" senior citizen. Rather, I am a forty-something guy who has grown up watching a gamut of films that spanned from "G" to "R". I guess what I am trying to say that I am not "a prude" when it comes to these things. Having said that, I just can't stand the filth of modern cinema. I don't find it "edgy" or "daring," rather I find it lazy at best, and downright disturbing at worst. I have always found it interesting that Hollywood's so-called "Golden Era" is centrally located in the Hays Code district. Interesting, that. Instead of limiting artistic freedom, it seems to have unleashed it. Maybe there is a lesson to be learnt there?

 

And, yeah, don't get me started with the $300-million dollar cartoons that Hollywood is pumping out these days. I could weep for what Hollywood has done to sci-fi these past ten or so years. They have completely turned the genre into a medium for after school cartoons. :angry:

 

 

 

 

I think you hit it on the head, too. But for the old movies, I've been seriously thinking about cancelling my NetFlix account because if there are four new movies a year that look interesting to me, it is a lot. And, sadly, of the four, maybe one actually proves watchable (watchable, mind you; not great).

 

 

That is true, but I think it is not so much about remakes - albeit, Hollywood seems to have a kamikaze attitude when it comes to remaking avowed classics, cult or otherwise - but about what in the software world is called "iteration, not innovation." In other words, Hollywood is stuck on things like Star Wars 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc., Jurassic Park 1, 2, 3, etc, Die Hard 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. That is what is so silly. Yes, the Maltese Falcon was remade, but that seemed more about perfecting the film that just milking it for all it is worth. It is interesting that there never was a Maltese Falcon 2, 3, 4, nor a The Killers 2, 3, 4, or a Laura 2, 3, 4. I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to say if those were new movies today, we could count on such iteration.

 

 

That is an excellent point about sound. I completely agree with you on that. Like you said, it probably was an unintentional but beneficial side effect of the audio technology of the day, but maybe there is a lesson in that. I hear people are returning to records because they find the sound of MP3s and CDs to be too antiseptic. Maybe Hollywood should get a clue about the use of sound in modern movies, too. Too often Hollywood acts like a kid with the latest Apple iPhone.

 

I don't necessarily agree with real sets being too expensive vis-a-vis CGI. I recently read an article that said that CGI studios are going bankrupt left and right because the cost of AAA CGI is very expensive, and the studios are starting to refuse to pay a break even rate. Imagine if Hollywood would take a fraction of their CGI budget and return to old fashioned sets. I can't image such sets, especially for an intimate genre like film noir, would come anywhere close to the cost of a typical CGI-laden film.

 

 

I don't necessarily agree. For me, the classic films noir are like Shakespearean plays: their emotional hook, if you will, is timeless. I mean, just the fact that so many people of all age groups are enjoying TCM's Summer of Darkness festival proves that (not to mention the many festivals pop up around the country). It is a strange situation. Hollywood isn't making new films noir (with the exception of the occasional passion project like LA Confidential, etc.) because people aren't interested. How do we know that? Because Hollywood is making any films noir. It is very circular reasoning. Yet, when they do, be it LA Confidential or even sci-fi noir like Blade Runner, such films become almost instant classics. To me, this just proves that nothing has changed other than Hollywood attitudes towards the genre.

 

 

Well said! And, again, I agree with the lack of a need for profanity, etc. Again, I never watched The Maltese Falcon and said, "That was good, but it needed more sex." :D Interesting, a lot of my friends feel the same way. I think the times might be changing for the better. The question is: will Hollywood listen?

Sorry,but it will never happen.

Studios aren't dumb. They see the numbers,and know what draws people in. High concept rules the box office...

and that's just a fact. Go look at the numbers for Jurassic World in IMAX 3D in a week,or for Star Wars later in Dec. Think they are going to say..."Gee...let's stop making movies that are bringing in billions of dollars at the theater,tied in with merchandise we can sell,and theme park attractions to create,so we can focus our efforts on film noir? Loool....not a chance. Their #1 overall sole objective,is to make as much money as possible on a global market...period. It's why they put out so many superhero franchises,because it's high concept that sells globally. They don't think on a intercontinental level at all. This isn't the studio system era,and there are no moguls in charge of a studio anymore. They are just part of a corporate conglomerate,under a vast network umbrella,

like an octopus with it's tentecles stretched out everywhere. So disagree with me all you want,but I deal in facts with the industry,not anything else....and I can assure you,and all of you...you will never see a return to what once was.

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I don't entirely share the pessimism for the current state of cinema. In 2014 I saw plenty of great films.

 

Here's a list of my favorites:

 

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, BOYHOOD, LISTEN UP PHILIP, THE DOUBLE, ENEMY, KREUZWEG, THE GUEST, BLUE RUIN, COLD IN JULY, IMPERIAL DREAMS, JOE, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, CALVARY, STARRED UP, LOCKE, THE DROP, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, HER, COHERENCE, PREDESTINATION, WHIPLASH, PALO ALTO, ELEANOR RIGBY HIM & HER, CAMP X-RAY, UNE NOUVELLE AMIE, SNOWPIERCER, NIGHTCRAWLER, UNDER THE SKIN....

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Sorry,but it will never happen.

Studios aren't dumb. They see the numbers,and know what draws people in. High concept rules the box office...

and that's just a fact. Go look at the numbers for Jurassic World in IMAX 3D in a week,or for Star Wars later in Dec. Think they are going to say..."Gee...let's stop making movies that are bringing in billions of dollars at the theater,tied in with merchandise we can sell,and theme park attractions to create,so we can focus our efforts on film noir? Loool....not a chance. Their #1 overall sole objective,is to make as much money as possible on a global market...period. It's why they put out so many superhero franchises,because it's high concept that sells globally. They don't think on a intercontinental level at all. This isn't the studio system era,and there are no moguls in charge of a studio anymore. They are just part of a corporate conglomerate,under a vast network umbrella,

like an octopus with it's tentecles stretched out everywhere. So disagree with me all you want,but I deal in facts with the industry,not anything else....and I can assure you,and all of you...you will never see a return to what once was.

It seems as though you're missing the point. No one said what's currently out there now is going to be replaced by films noir and silent films. It will always exist and will generate money, but it would be nice if there was more variety to have films that revert back to the old style. In fact this DOES happen and quite often. It usually generates a word of mouth response. I thought the 2012 British remake Brighton Beach was a great noir film (albeit color) without all the sex, very little (if any) profanity, minimal on screen violence. It had many of the technical noir elements including use of light/dark, shadows, camera angles. It was also well received. 

 

So yes you WILL see a return to of these types of films; they just won't dominate the industry. My sense from the posts here is that many would like to see this availability out there instead of the same industry milled big budget films.

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Here's what I think the problem with this thread is; most people seem to be confusing 'hollywood blockbusters' with 'cinema.' Hollywood blockbusters are a small but highly visible part of the world of cinema. There's so much good stuff out there being made ever year/month/week/day, and it's so much easier to watch it now than ever before, that it deeply frustrates me when people say 'no one makes good movies anymore.'

 

Also, it strikes me as slightly amusing that the arguments being made about movies today 'too much filth, too much brutality, too much language, too much sex,' were also applied to the movies being venerated here. Times change, attitudes change, culture changes. To apply a moral judgement to the very basic idea that times change is a fool's errand.

 
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Also, it strikes me as slightly amusing that the arguments being made about movies today 'too much filth, too much brutality, too much language, too much sex,' were also applied to the movies being venerated here. Times change, attitudes change, culture changes. To apply a moral judgement to the very basic idea that times change is a fool's errand.

 

This is true, however, you're comparing apples to oranges here. That language/nudity/violence you see today on screen is nothing you would have seen on screen at that time. It was something that was implied. Now it's in your face. It really isn't a moral judgment. It's just a matter of taste. 

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Seem to be multiple discussions here.

What type of "Noir" would specifically be needed to "save cinema?"  Does cinema need saving?

There is more sex/violance/nudity/obscene language in today's movies.  But, that is because directors, writers and studios couldn't get away with it in the '30's through 50's.  Even during socalled "pre-code" period.  Studios and directors didn't want to tempt the censorship people by going too far.  As it was, they did and the code got enforced.

The use of the word "damn" was hotly debated for Gone With The Wind.  I watched the HBO series Veep when it came out.  How many times did they use the F word in the first episode alone?  Times have changed and producers, writers, directors, studios, etc. are going to provide what the people expect.

However, I do believe that many writers, directors, etc. use sex/obscene language/nudity as a crutch whereas in the '30's through '60's, they had to do better writing and acting.

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This is true, however, you're comparing apples to oranges here. That language/nudity/violence you see today on screen is nothing you would have seen on screen at that time. It was something that was implied. Now it's in your face. It really isn't a moral judgment. It's just a matter of taste. 

 

That's also true, and I am certainly not trying to imply that anyone's opinions are wrong. But it seems to me that people who use the blanket statement 'old movies are better than new movies. New movies are all garbage'(I know I'm paraphrasing) has closed themselves off to an amazing amount of great art out there. And I don't mean you need to accept nudity/language/violence at levels you disapprove of. There are literally thousands of great movies every year from all over the world that I would have absolutely no problem letting my 11 year old daughter watch.

 

And then, yes, there are thousands of great movies every year I would not like my daughter to watch for at least another few years. But a movie having foul language doesn't automatically make it bad, just as a movie with squeaky clean wholesome values, no language, no violence, and no sexual innuendo at all is not automatically a good movie.

 

I guess what I'm saying is, I hate generalization in this argument.

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This is true, however, you're comparing apples to oranges here. That language/nudity/violence you see today on screen is nothing you would have seen on screen at that time. It was something that was implied. Now it's in your face. It really isn't a moral judgment. It's just a matter of taste. 

 

I"m not so sure.   If the production code wasn't enforced in July of 1934,   I assume movie producers would have included the type of language/nudity/violence we see today.  OK not to the degree we see today at first,  but a little more each year.   Pre-code films were a lot more sexually open,  focused on young girls dressing (often with no plot specific reason) and had a lot of violence.     

 

So while a matter of taste was a factor it was also a matter of censorship.    e.g. Books that sold well in the 30s used the 'F' word,  had unmarried people 'doing it',  etc....

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It seems as though you're missing the point. No one said what's currently out there now is going to be replaced by films noir and silent films. It will always exist and will generate money, but it would be nice if there was more variety to have films that revert back to the old style. In fact this DOES happen and quite often. It usually generates a word of mouth response. I thought the 2012 British remake Brighton Beach was a great noir film (albeit color) without all the sex, very little (if any) profanity, minimal on screen violence. It had many of the technical noir elements including use of light/dark, shadows, camera angles. It was also well received.

 

So yes you WILL see a return to of these types of films; they just won't dominate the industry. My sense from the posts here is that many would like to see this availability out there instead of the same industry milled big budget films.

"They won't dominate the industry" That's the whole point to this OPs question,I'm refering to. You will never see that kind of trend in films again,to where mass audiences are going to come out in droves to see film noir,like we want to see it again. A few films here and there,doesn't mean anything to the overall landscape of things. Without the majors on board,(because they are the only ones who have the distribution capabilities to mass market) there is zero chance of seeing any change to our side of the fence. Don't take my word for it...go ask the studios themselves what's on the horizon.

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