RARA-AVIS: Noir and its definitions

From: Bludis Jack ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 12 Feb 2003

Noir, as I understand it, was not nameed until the French, noticing the darkness of American films of that type and era, named it "film noir."

I *think* that what happened was that many American readers, noting that some of the best of film noir were also base on some of the best of Cain, Hamnett, and Chandler, adopted the name.

(OK, Hammett and Chandler for the most part are hardboiled and not noir, but this is just what I

In terms of darkness, what film is darker than the silent film *M* with Peter Lorie?

OK, here goes the rest of the argument -- or rather, my side of the discussion.

I think Miker has a good point. Is there any book much more noir that *Crime and Punishment*? Any character more screwed than Hamlet? Or Oedipus? Or many of Poe's characters?

I think what's happened over the years, and I'm to blame as much as any of us, is that we have narrowed noir to roughly 20s until now. Think
*Mystic River* for noir -- talk about somebody being screwed?

We can, and we probably will, discuss this subject until everybody on this list today is well into their pension years and still not come up with a universal definition.

For the moment I'll stick to my oversimplfied: Hardboiled = Tough, Noir = Screwed.

A lot of good posts today thanks to Miker making us think and me deciding that noir literature, at least as I now see it, does extended well into the past.

Good posts on Simenon too.

Jack Bludis

PS: Whoever said "dark and brooding atmosphere" does have a point, but I think noir is so much more than that, and so much simpler.

===== http://JackBludis.com Hollywood Mysteries of the Early Fifties

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 12 Feb 2003 EST