RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA AVIS: Hardboiled vs. Noir, Films, Camus etc.

Orpheus (orpheus@columbus.rr.com)
Tue, 28 Jul 1998 00:10:26 -0400 Jacques wrote:
> I've always understood these terms to be used interchageably. The only
> difference that ever pops into my head is "hard-boiled" being used more
> often as an attribute of style, and "noir" as used as a description of tone
> or mood, i.e. "roman noir" or black (dark) novel. I don't really feel
> uncomfortable substituting one for the other.

My understanding of the whole hardboiled/noir issue has always been that
the "Hardboiled" title had a lot more to do with the main character rather
than the "style" of the book. I've always thought noir implies that the
general flow of the main characters is from good to evil, from innocence to
corruption. I've agree that "noir" describes the mood more consistently,
but aren't we really just talking about titles publishers just slap on
penny dreadfuls (in most cases)? Has there ever been any author or
filmmaker who has bothered to satisfactorily define what they mean by
either title? I think the general nature of this discussion implies that
there has not.

On a completely different note, I thought that it would be interesting to
use the general model (albeit more informally) of the book discussions to
start a more systematic discussion of films in the genre. It has been (as
far as I've seen) disparate remarks on good or bad movies out. Would
anyone else be interested in doing something like this? We could possibly
have the list farther ahead than the reading list, as movies are often more
difficult to find copies of. Just a random thought.

To switch topics again, I was looking at the Black Lizard copy of _The
Postman Always Rings Twice_ and on the back it said that "[_Postman_] was
acknowledged by Albert Camus as the model for _The Stranger_." I hadn't
heard this before and was curious just where he said this.

Finally, I saw a book at the library a while ago which came with a music CD
to listen to, with separate tracks for different parts of the book and
different settings. I was wondering if anyone had heard what music
different classic authors in the genre were fans of, and what are some good
author/musician pairings.

Sorry about the length,
Brian Long

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