Re: RARA-AVIS: Noirish

Date: 16 May 2005

In a message dated 5/16/05 9:06:17 AM, writes:

> I had the same sense from Sin City,
> though I didn't see much about this in press reviews or even on RARA AVIS.
> Maybe my memory is selective. Anyway, I thought the movie was a
> post-feminist lampoon of hardboil, even as it hammered all the notes. I'm
> referring specifically to the romantic notion of the tough-guy white knight
> who, by implication, must rescue the fair damsels. The women in Old Town
> seemed quite capable of looking after themselves. But the pic was noirish
> in that it was sometimes the efforts of the morally righteous tough guys
> who screwed up the women's working arrangements to begin with. I am
> curious, I've not read the comics on which the movie is based, but is this
> true to the theme of the books?
the movie is essentially a live action, animated version of the graphic novels. everything that is both positive and negative about the film is a direct result of the completely faithful and skillful translation of material originally conceived as a serialized comic book story
> And miker said:
> "Noir oftentimes is associated with a pessimistic determinism, a lack of
> power to exert any meaningful control over life."
> I don't think this goes quite far enough. I think noir deals with the
> attempt to exercise power, and its ineffectiveness to produce substantive
> change. The powerful ARE effective, but corrupt because that is the nature
> of power. Those who would fight the corruptions of the powerful must gain
> or use some form of power themselves in order to do so, and so are either
> unsuccessful and/or become corrupt themselves. This is what dooms them.
> This is the human condition, and so noir is existential
I go along with Miker. often in noir the only attempt to exercise power is to affect change in the protagonist's own life, which is often quite small. the protagonist is doomed because his or her moral compass is often DOA. thus their actions to improve their lot only lead to their doom. the powerful often have nothing to do with their sad little tales in the least, except perhaps as an unobtainable brass ring

I do agree that noir is existential

John Lau

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 16 May 2005 EDT