Re: RARA-AVIS: Back into the definitional whirlpool (spoilers for FALLING ANGEL)

Date: 16 May 2004


Re your questions below:

> ". . . and even romantic chick flicks like LAURA and
> I'll grant you they both have elements of gothic
> romance, but "chick
> flick"? At great risk, I'm going to ask you for
> another definition --
> what's a chick flick?

"Chick flick" is a dismissive, pejorative term that guys apply to movies with a strong feminine interest which they're not really interested in seeing.

I was wrong to apply it to two well-made movies, both of which I enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, but I was trying to draw a distinction between these films and more overtly masculine films like, say, THE KILLERS or THE ASPHALT JUNGLE in order to demonstrate the wide array of films to which the term "noir" has been applied.

And I thought it would be clear that my tongue was at least partly in my cheek.
> Where did Wilder and Spillane apply the word noir?
> Again, I'm not
> trying to pick another fight. I'd genuinely like to
> read what they've
> said or written on the topic.

I don't know if Wilder ever applied the word "noir" to either film or literature. But it was Wilder, the co-writer and director of one of the seminal film noirs, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, who hired Raymond Chandler to collaborate with him on the script, and he hired him precisely because he thought that Chandler and Cain were harvesting crops from the same field. Thus Wilder was one of those who, before the term "noir" had even been coined, tossed Chandler and Cain together.

Spillane and Max Allan Collins have co-edited an anthology called A CENTURY OF NOIR. Spillane's views on the topic may be inferred by the choice of stories included. Which is fairly eclectic.


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