RARA-AVIS: The Term "Neo-Noir"

From: chrisaschneider@earthlink.net
Date: 16 Jul 2004

E. Borgers wrote:
> I gathered here in a list some films

For what it's worth, the first time I heard the term "neo-noir" was in connection with '70s films like "Chinatown." Borgers' list deals mostly with '90s titles. My instinct usually tells me that anything coming after the First Great Period (approximately 1944 to 1951, approximately "Double Indemnity" to "On Dangerous Ground") can be categorized as "neo-noir."

Of course, that doesn't prevent films of any period whatsoever from being described as "noir-like" or "containing noir qualities."

It also suggests that earlier films -- like, say, Lang's "You Only Live Once" -- should be described as "proto-noir."

All of which reminds me of that Willliam Hamilton cartoon where two female students, books in hand, are walking together and one tells the other "I keep forgetting whether 'Don Quixote' is pivotal or seminal ..."


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