Re: RARA-AVIS: Sin City

Date: 02 Apr 2005

Keith asked:

"Can you compare, contrast to either Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction? Both pretty noir in terms of film genre. Though clearly not graphic comic derived."

The only thing it really has in common with either of those is that it has three sections, with very slight overlap, like Pulp Fiction. However, while those Tarantino films drew from films and books, this is clearly a comic book, with all of the hyperbole and reduction of that medium. It is in no fixed time or place, mixing and matching fashion, cars and locations from all over space and time.

First of all, Sin City is largely B & W, with occasional splashes of color, just like the comic books it's based on. It directly replicates many of Frank Miller's frames and pages. And I mean high contrast black and white; there aren't even many greys here. It makes very evident just how much the noir look owes to German Expressionism.

The stories and characters are equally exaggerated. Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction at least seemed to be taking place in the real world, albeit a bit stylized. If this can be compared to any Tarantino film, it should be Kill BIll. That film made no claim to being real. Sin City is in a very strange world that takes the conventions of noir and exagerrates them ridiculously (not meant as an insult, just meant to indicate how extreme this film world is). This makes no claim to being about real people. It takes the most extreme characters in noir books and films and uses them as starting points. I was really struck by how much Marv, for instance, simultaneously drew on, but also made Mike Hammer look like a pussy. These characters take and mete out a ridiculous amount of punishment.

Interestingly, the only thing that is not black and white in this film are the "good" guys. They are certainly driving down mean streets, but they are very tarnished. They all have quests (they each have a woman they are trying to protect or avenge), but they will be as mean as the worst predators they are facing. They don't believe an eye for an eye is enough.

Everything in this film is exaggerated to the extreme, from the look to the voice-over narratives, from the stories to the dialogue. I'm sure some will dismiss it as a collection of cliches, but I loved it.


------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> In low income neighborhoods, 84% do not own computers. At Network for Good, help bridge the Digital Divide!

RARA-AVIS home page:
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 02 Apr 2005 EST