RARA-AVIS: Noir and naturalism

From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 24 Aug 2004

Dave Zeltserman wrote:

Kind of interesting that "Cold Mountain" could be considered noir. Like "Barry Lyndon" (one of Stanley Kubrick's most underrated movies), Cold Mountain seems more about preordained fate, more tragic than dark.

*************** If not a defining element, I think preordained fate still stands as a dominant theme in the noir landscape, reflecting noir's roots in the pessimistic determinism of American Naturalism. Here's a quote from author Frank Norris on naturalism:

"Terrible things must happen to the characters of the naturalistic tale. They must be twisted from the ordinary, wrenched out of the quiet, uneventful round of every-day life, and flung into the throes of a vast and terrible drama that works itself out in unleashed passions, in blood, and in sudden death."

A fairly accurate description of noir, also, I would say.


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