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Is Film Noir a Cinematic revival of the medieval morality play?


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Siting Wikipedia, " morality plays are a type of allegory in which the protagonist is met by personifications of various moral attributes who try to prompt him to choose a godly life over one of evil..."

 

The very fact that it's called film noir or "black film," as in black n white, evil vs good fits the context of morality plays.

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Hi PM;

 

I don't think in terms of storytelling with characters who must choose between right and wrong.  In my opinion, good stories are about characters who must choose between two dilemmas and there is doubt as to which is the best choice.  Morality in a good story is what we viewers impose on our characters and enter the movie theater with them pre-established.  It is in story that we may squirm while values are systematically torn apart, brutally questioned, or logically presented as utterly wrong.

 

Noir characters must often chose to do wrong to do right and often, that is done in a way unplanned or unpredictable by a protagonist or by an antagonist.  That quality makes these type films edgy, gritty, and dark.  It's intentional; it's the noir of the genre.

 

The noir genre purposefully explores the dark areas of good and evil and reveals that, neither is perfect nor are the endings best when dilemmas of choice have gone wrong, or right.

 

The characters may never return to the world we are introduced to in every noir beginning.  The endings are imperfect, wanting in goodness tainted by bad things, and ruled by stories of irony, violence, usually murder, and thus, very high stakes in terms of survival, happiness, and a peaceful life.

 

Have a nice day.

Michael

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Siting Wikipedia, " morality plays are a type of allegory in which the protagonist is met by personifications of various moral attributes who try to prompt him to choose a godly life over one of evil..."

 

The very fact that it's called film noir or "black film," as in black n white, evil vs good fits the context of morality plays.

 

In many, if not most cases,   the noir protagonist doesn't really choose a course;   a course is either imposed on them,  or they made what they believe is a fairly benign choice that blows up in their face;  e.g. helping a gal out of a jam that turns out to be a femme fatale.

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Then don't keep it a secret, do tell how.

 

If you're using a mobile device you might see something different but for PC users one should see 4 options under their post;  Report,  Edit,  MultiQuote and Quote.   

 

PS:  I think one should only see 'edit' since why would someone wish to report, or quote their own post. 

 

Oh, and there is also a 'show edit by line' box one can check.  This will display that the post has been edited by the user.   I'm checking it for this post so you can see that.

Edited by jamesjazzguitar
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Then don't keep it a secret, do tell how.

Just left of the box that says "multiquote" is a faint box that says "edit." Click on it and it allows you to edit. Careful not to click on the "report" box that sits just left of edit and voila, "you" are correcting all the stupid things "you" wrote. ????
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Good question. However,I never got past Martha Vickers saying..."You're cute." It's all blank from there on out,but I'll try and pay more attention in the future.

 

Well I never got past Vickers in her tennis outfit!   After seeing The Big Sleep I went to the Edmund Cinema Bookstore in Hollywood to pick up books and still photos.    I asked the clerk at the desk for photos of Martha Vickers.   He said something like 'oh, you saw The Big Sleep'.     Busted!

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That is an interesting observation.  While a lot of film noir seems to deal with dark themes, I am often struck by how the shady protagonist ultimately does the right thing for the right reason, even knowing that this could/will cost him a great deal, such as his life.  Johnny Eager and Nobody Lives Forever come to mind.

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