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Oh, I missed so many great posts last night when I was watching The Great Escape and Bullitt.  Oh, but then I went to sleep.

 

 

 

I do not know why when I press the button to view new content I have to go through all sorts of off topic chit chat to find new posts in noir categories.

 

A lot of people say about Noir: I know it when I see it.  Then they cannot otherwise define it.

 

There are a lot of my favourite Noir films that are in the first half of the 1960s.  I've been looking at the lists of titles both of you have been mentioning and making a mental list of which ones I have already seen and which ones I haven't.

 

 

regarding Dark City the original-I've discovered that there is no way for me to see it where I live. Sigh.

I know what you mean. I go through a few renditions of Film Noir to find the ones I'm currently searching for or interested in. I like Dark City and will check to see if I have a copy. WIll probably return tomorrow and hope I've got it. I do recall another movie from around the same time it reminds me of.

Best Regards as always

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I know what you mean. I go through a few renditions of Film Noir to find the ones I'm currently searching for or interested in. I like Dark City and will check to see if I have a copy. WIll probably return tomorrow and hope I've got it. I do recall another movie from around the same time it reminds me of.

Best Regards as always

Well, I checked through my files and am so sorry I don't have Dark City. I have another movie pal in Sweden who has a lot of rare classics. I just sent him an e-mail awhile ago requesting the film. He will send it in the next week or two. We have been trading for the last ten years and he has an extensive list of older films we love. So that will be great. Will let you know when I receive it.

Best,

Jsnet

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Just thought of another great Film Noir I saw recently. IT is the '54 film called Blackout with Dane Clark, Belinda Lee and Eleanor Summerfield. It has some interesting pathways we follow to the end.

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Just thought of another great Film Noir I saw recently. IT is the '54 film called Blackout with Dane Clark, Belinda Lee and Eleanor Summerfield. It has some interesting pathways we follow to the end.

It's been awhile since I've seen it.

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I know what you mean. I go through a few renditions of Film Noir to find the ones I'm currently searching for or interested in. I like Dark City and will check to see if I have a copy. WIll probably return tomorrow and hope I've got it. I do recall another movie from around the same time it reminds me of.

Best Regards as always

 

I haven't seen Dark City. Is this the 1951 film with Charlton Heston, Lizabeth Scott, and Don DeFore?

 

Charlton Heston in a film noir should be interesting.

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I haven't seen Dark City. Is this the 1951 film with Charlton Heston, Lizabeth Scott, and Don DeFore?

 

Charlton Heston in a film noir should be interesting.

 

Yes,  we are discussing the 51 film Dark City (verses the 90s film with is unrelated).    While it is a film worth seeing, Scott doesn't have much to do and she isn't a femme fatale.    I would rate it as the least interesting noir Scott was in.

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Yes,  we are discussing the 51 film Dark City (verses the 90s film with is unrelated).    While it is a film worth seeing but Scott doesn't have much to do and she isn't a femme fatale.    I would rate it as the least interesting noir Scott was in.

"Charlton Heston in a film noir should be interesting."

 

Actually, I was wondering more about Charlton Heston, but he was in Touch of Evil, so seeing him in Dark City shouldn't be too much of a stretch.

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  • 2 years later...

The problem lies in the type of argument used to identify film noir. A deductive argument should always be used; but most of these threads about 'the confusion over what is noir' use atrocious inductive or abductive arguments. It wreaks chaos.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Uncle Joe sez:

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We all know from the many and varied books written about Film Noir that the often quoted time frame that these films fit into is usually 1941 to 1958 some occasionally stretch to 1959. Who came came up with this initially, and why is it so strictly adhered too?

I'd rather have it asked whether it is 'strictly adhered to'. Is it? If so, then ask "where"? That may explain it outright. If you see 'timeframe' emphasized in a noir book its probably just the fault of the 'popularizing cinema' trend in film books, film encyclopedias, and the like. Usually of dubious caliber.

For, it is uncommon to find 'time frame' relied on in proper works of academia, especially in the humanities and historical fields. Well-grounded scholars know that timeframes are a terrible way to delineate trends and movements.

This question is suggestive to me that you're possibly reading the wrong kind of books. Probably just cinema books, a problem in itself no matter what the actual books are. Film studies are just not that well-rounded. They're the wrong end of the telescope.
 

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The Joe Man ruminated:

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The more Noirs I watch the more I'm questioning this.

I'll go a bit further: the better academic writing on film noir is better (at least in part) for this reason: it is not concerned with inventories or examples as a way to support its positions. Good scholarship is concerned with explaining why and how; not just what, where, or when.

It is keener on structure/function; intent on defining archetypes and  principles; and not distracted by 'multiplicity'.

For, if you understand a thing fully, you can grasp it anywhere you find it. You don't have to keep sorting and re-sorting out your impressions every week.

Why this point does not seem to sink in, I can't imagine. There are impassioned manifestos written all down through history against the method you're currently employing--manifestos in architecture, in music, in literature, in art. Even in science. Making elaborate style libraries and taxonomies without regard to internal developments, ignoring the principles of design, evolution, and form, is anathema.

To hear you tell it, all a film needs to be considered for inclusion in noir is that it ever showed some mid-tones in its photography. Anytime, anywhere. How in the world does this not strike you as zany?


Eh, I digress. If you're wondering why some noir writing is rigid, it is probably more than anything else the line-of-thought that begins with those confused Frenchmen. They're responsible for these ever-widening gyres of hierarchical classification by time, by place, by inheritance

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And for those wanting to cut through all the bushwa the great academia nut above decrees thusly...

 

"My first rule is probably this: I don't even start to label anything a noir unless the lead role is an American male who has been discharged from WWII military service and is now dealing with the difficulties of re-establishing himself back into an American society which seems strange, amoral, and unfamiliar to him.

Another strong determinant for me, is the budget. Low budget productions were the hallmark of noir.

From this basic starting point, is where I start to make exceptions and compromises.

Sure, I might wind up making a lot of exceptions, but these are still some of the ideal ingredients for noir and is (from what I understand) where it all started. Nothing is true noir until after WWII ends."

Sgt_Markoff

 

 

 

 

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On 11/9/2018 at 9:07 AM, Sgt_Markoff said:

The problem lies in the type of argument used to identify film noir. A deductive argument should always be used; but most of these threads about 'the confusion over what is noir' use atrocious inductive or abductive arguments. It wreaks chaos.

Hey, just for fun I would like to see you construct an example of a deductive argument which could be used to identify film noir. 

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Joe King murmured:

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I'm also thinking now that the Color Film Noirs within this 1940-1968 time frame were the first Neo Noirs so that the two sub genres actually overlap. The catalyst for this new alignment is when I read a quote about Neo Noir that said that if the filmmakers made a conscience decision to film in black and white when color was the norm then it was an artistic decision and not one of necessity for budget purposes

It only goes to show why neo-noir must always be kept separate. You can theorize til you're blue in th' face--speculate til Hell won't have it again--but there's no way to know for sure what was going on. 

You can't just look at the endproduct as evidence of anything; much less listen to what someone says "must have been in (someone else's) head". You can't do that in cinema and get anywhere.

Eh, nevermind.

The larger problem here is that when you read something like what you stumbled over above, it ought not to provoke wild-eyed re-evaluations and speculations. Whatever you read was likely just another film snob and their Rizzoli book, prattling on without any grounding. This kind of thing should not start flurry of 'Oh, so is this genre really overlapping this other genre, are these two genres really one and the same?' etc etc etc.

When 'noir is all visual' is the sand upon which you're building castles, your foundations risk constant shifts like this.

Think: to follow your philosophy, means that modern social scientists couldn't analyze the cultural phenomenon which is film noir, unless they sit down and personally examine each movie themselves. They'd be reduced to mere film reviewers.

Do you not admit how wonky that idea is? Do you feel that makes a lick of sense at all?

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1 minute ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Making elaborate style libraries and taxonomies without regard to internal developments, ignoring the principles of design, evolution, and form, is anathema.

I want to comment on this bit. If I may. I make libraries and classify films, after I've gained a "grasp" on genre types. I do this so that I can make sure I've seen all I need to see or ever wanted to see with regards to a certain filmmaking style. The list is a way for me to create a deeper understanding-- a way to gain familiarity with a given form(at). 

To some extent I've been doing this in the thread in the General Discussions area on women's jobs outside and inside the home. I mentioned a group of films to examine in that regard, others chimed in and mentioned more films. And it became a reference guide to build from, basically. Usually, if I plan to do a series of reviews later on, I use all this pre-writing activity and decide which four or five titles I want to view and focus on during a particular month. 

I don't always reach a point where I feel I have a full grasp. Though I may not always admit that to others, I admit it to myself. The notes for some films remain in a journal I have, and stay there. Some of my observations might remain in the journal forever. Or at least until I can construct a meaningful text in order to share my ideas. 

A perfect example is something I watched in September called THE MAN ON THE EIFFEL TOWER. I took very extensive notes on that film. It really captivated me in a variety of ways. But it became a film I couldn't exactly label, though I knew it had a lot of possible labels or identifiers within it. I guess I wanted to let it sit, find ways to see if it fit into my understanding of noir and my understanding of other types of filmmaking. It's a film I like to put on many of the lists I create, but it's one I often end up deleting from those lists because it almost defies a list. Who knows, maybe I will decide it belongs on a list of unlisted films. LOL But I'll never know if I don't attempt to classify or declassify it.

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Again the obnoxiously self-assertive and arrogant one above has spent entirely too much time in an institution.

He can't quite grasp the concept that I couldn't give a rats pooper about his bushwa. 

My first rule of thumb is I don't label anything noir until I feel the visual stylistics and story line "tune" it to noir, end of story. 

As I've posted in another thread Noir distilled down to its essence is this

"Life doesn't always have a happy ending."

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Top B sed:

Quote

I want to comment on this bit. If I may. I make libraries and classify films, after I've gained a "grasp" on genre types. I do this so that I can make sure I've seen all I need to see

Yep. Yes indeed. I'm sure many moviegoers do the same; its an informal habit of lots of us. But it isn't the basis for an overarching theory of film; its just a memory aid; a personal mnemonic.

To build it up into a theory, would be introducing abductive or inductive reasoning.

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16 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Top B sed:

Yep. Yes indeed. I'm sure many moviegoers do the same; its an informal habit of lots of us. But it isn't the basis for an overarching theory of film; its just a memory aid; a personal mnemonic.

To build it up into a theory, would be introducing abductive or inductive reasoning.

I don't see it as a memory aid. I see it as an organizational tool, for me to develop a strategy on which films deserve my focus and attention. The actual reviews are a memory aid, if anything. I can go back later and re-read my reviews to recall what a film was about and how I connected with it or didn't connect with it. The more films a person covers, the more vital this becomes, since there's no way to remember all of what you have written for over a thousand reviews.

Anyway, I don't think we need to disparage people who make lists, if the lists serve a greater purpose. It doesn't matter if lists are way down on Bloom's taxonomy, it's the higher level thinking, synthesizing and creating/producing that comes from the lists. 

As for theory, I think that mainly occurs afterward. After the creation is finished. But I try to leave the theorizing to others, to figure out why I created something. And I think that's what good filmmakers and reviewers do. They attempt to be as conscious as possible during the creative process, and they can direct theorists to certain places with their work, but ultimately how someone else "reasons" with the works is out of their control.

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Nino Frank and Jean-Pierre Chartier, Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton...

Eh...these supposed 'doyens' and the 'articles' they wrote (in general, film reviewers are the bottom-feeders in the cinema food chain; below critics. But even 'critics' are far below genuine scholars).

Idly taking a look at a couple of these snoots. Before becoming a self-styled expert in cinema, (writing 'articles' on film) Raymond Borde had a law degree in Toulouse. Then a job as Inspector of Finance in the local govt. Member of the communist party until '58.

Meanwhile under the Nazi occupation of France, Frank was a collaborationist. His 'articles' were published in a weekly collaborationist paper. Then he wrote 'articles' for a 'socialist film magazine'. :rolleyes:

So 2/4 of these experts are rather ...tinny. Would anyone today really let their entire line of reason stem from these piddlers and scribblers who merely noted down what they saw in French theaters that many decades ago?

"Their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, and neither can they do any good.” --Jeremiah 10:5

Just sayin'.

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2 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Nino Frank and Jean-Pierre Chartier, Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton...

Eh...these supposed 'doyens' and the 'articles' they wrote (in general, film reviewers are the bottom-feeders in the cinema food chain; below critics. But even 'critics' are far below genuine scholars).

Idly taking a look at a couple of these snoots. Before becoming a self-styled expert in cinema, (writing 'articles' on film) Raymond Borde had a law degree in Toulouse. Then a job as Inspector of Finance in the local govt. Member of the communist party until '58.

Meanwhile under the Nazi occupation of France, Frank was a collaborationist. His 'articles' were published in a weekly collaborationist paper. Then he wrote 'articles' for a 'socialist film magazine'. :rolleyes:

So 2/4 of these experts are rather ...tinny. Would anyone today really let their entire line of reason stem from these piddlers and scribblers who merely noted down what they saw in French theaters that many decades ago?

"Their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, and neither can they do any good.” --Jeremiah 10:5

Just sayin'.

In some cases reviewers bring in a considerable amount of criticism and prior theory. These are not always separate discourses. I don't think film scholars necessarily have a greater handle on cinema. They might have more experience with film text analysis, but could still be rather unenlightened. In some ways, I see how they regress or go off into a vacuum then they have to devise a new theory, which I call the re-real, to return to the basics in their studies.

I dislike mentioning that one of my degrees is in Cinema-Television Critical Studies. It's something I've tried to distance myself from, because while I am grateful for the methods I picked up during those years, I found a lot of the scholarly approach easy to lampoon, and I was embarrassed to be associated with it. Ultimately I had to create my own approach. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I'd say a lot of scholars get tripped up by their theories and make their writing wholly inaccessible, probably not only to others, but to themselves as well.

When I created the thread about women who work inside and outside the home, I thought about some email discussions I had with feminist scholar Molly Haskell. One of her publications was almost a bible in a course I took at the University of Southern California. She's also appeared on TCM. I find her a bit more accessible than others of her ilk, and appreciated her replies. I wanted to take ideas my discussion with her generated in me, and to put them into that thread.

I like the comments I made in that thread about THE LAMP STILL BURNS (1943). I think it's the beginning of a personal "study" about the dichotomy of women who can exist outside the box only if that outside area is part of another box deemed 'appropriate' by patriarchy. There is so much to explore in that realm. I can start with the lists, build up from there, look at how my approach falls in line with Haskell and others, or not fall in line with them. I can review and review to my heart's content, insert my own pointed criticisms into the writing, set up what might be a new observation protocol (as opposed to theory) and then let it sit or build on it later. 

I would never want someone to say my writing is beneath a scholar, because that means I am being compared to something 'higher' that I do not exactly consider higher or supreme. And I most definitely would not want anyone to call me a scholar, because as I said most scholars can be lampooned. A lot of them are ultimately caricatures who hide in ivory towers grappling with various forms of dis-ease. At least that's my experience with them. The tragedy of tragedies is that they're comedies. And people in ivory towers tend to be that kind of cursed comedy.

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