Re: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled and Noir

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 14 Dec 2003

> Miker, for crying out loud, listen to yourself! The
> same story, maintaining the same atmosphere of gloom
> and evil and darkness, telling about the same
> character, moving through the same events, in
> virtually the same way and the same order, is noir in
> one medium but not in the other?

*********************************** An excellent example of this would be THE MALTESE FALCON. I'm not an expert on any kind of noir, and in film noir I am on very shaky grounds, but I believe that it's considered a noir film, isn't it? I have also heard it said that nothing Hammett wrote was noir, that his characters were simply too tough to be noir. I think the implication was that his writing lacked the sweat, fear, and desperation that the dark and sinister atmosphere is supposed to gen- erate.

And yes, I am suggesting (as I sink into quicksand) that noir in film is not the equivalent to written noir. I see film noir as a style, and written noir as an extension of the pessimistic determinism of the American Naturalists.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 14 Dec 2003 EST