Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What the Devil is Film Noir, and Who Named It?

A scene from 'The Crimson Kimono,'  a 1959 thriller directed by Samuel Fuller.
I'm a little late in posting a link to the great 2014 New Yorker article by Richard Brody, "Film Noir: The Elusive Genre."
It's a smart discussion about what exactly makes a movie a noir. I won't be spoiling anything by saying that it's hard to really pin it down.
There are all kinds of crime films that you'll recognize, including gangster pictures, heist films, movies with kidnapping plots and murder mysteries. But film noir is defined not so much by the kind of criminals involved or the sort of crime that gets committed.
So what makes it noir?
It's the characters involved and the kinds of conflicts that they face.
Check out the article. It's a fairly short read, by New Yorker standards, anyway. And as always for that magazine, the writing is tops.
If the online link doesn't work, download a PDF copy of it here.

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