Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS Digest V5 #33 - Noir

Date: 19 Feb 2003


Re your comments below:

> I brought up your Jesuit education because I thought
> the REASON that you
> felt you had to make your POINTS in the literary
> equivalent of SHOUTING
> was because perhaps you felt that I lacked the
> intellectual equipment to
> UNDERSTAND what you were trying to SAY. You didn't
> say script, etc had
> nothing to do with film - it's just the obvious
> implication:

I used to italicize in my e-mails by putting an asterisk at either end of the material which I wanted to emphasize. There may be way to underline or to use classic italics in e-mails, but I'm a self-confessed cyber-klutz, and, ultimately, it was easier just to capitalize. When I capitalize the title of a book or movie or periodical, do you infer that you're supposed to shout the title? Emphasis isn't the metaphorical equivalent of loudness, and I thought it was clear that I meant to emphasize, not to shout.

The inference that story, script, acting, etc, had nothing to do with film wasn't obvious because it's ridiculous on its face. What is obvious, however, is that the same story and script, with the same actor giving the same performance as the same character, can be filmed with two completely different visual approaches. So, clearly, those factors have nothing to do with whether or not a given film falls within the parameters of a style that's defined by its visual approach. I said film noir was defined by its visual approach. If I'm right, it follows that story, script, acting, etc., have nothing to do with whether of not a film is or isn't a film noir.

You may disagree with that assertion, but it doesn't follow, even if I'm wrong (which is, of course, not possible, since we've already established that I'm more infallible than the pope, but I'll allow for the hypothesis for the same of argument), that I regard script, story, performance, etc., as negligible factors in filmmaking.
> Gee Jim, the more you repeat yourself the closer I
> come to accepting
> your point of view. Who needs logical argument when
> you can use dogmatic
> assertion?

Well, really, Rene, if you ask a question that seems to suggest that you didn't understand my original point, how else can I answer it except to try to say the same thing in a slightly different way.

> I don't even know why I'm bothering to argue with
> someone whose main
> tactics of debate are the literary equivalent of
> SHOUTING and dogmatic
> repetition of previously made statements. Although I
> do note a SUBTLE
> change of position here - "color is CLOSE (the caps
> are mine) to an
> absolutley disqualifying factor". Close to
> absolutely?

I've already explained why I use caps for emphasis instead of more standard form of itlaics, and, at the risk of repeating myself, emphasis and loudness are not equivalent terms.

"Absolute" is, of course, as absolute term. If a tendency just misses being absolute, then it's CLOSE to absolute. Maybe I was a bit weasely to give myself some wiggle room here, but, while I don't know of any color film made in the '40s, '50s, or '60s that used darkeness and light in quite the same way that was possible in B&W, I haven't seen every film ever made in those decades, so it's barely possible that there may be one that does.

The rest of your post got truncated, so I'll try to answer your subsequent points in another message.


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