RARA-AVIS: On Post 9/11 Noir

From: Tim Wohlforth ( tim@timwohlforth.com)
Date: 26 Jun 2005

To answer Brian Thorton. You are right. I was not clear. I wanted to draw a parallel to the whole WWII-Immediate Post WWII period to the whole Post 9/11 period which continues. It seems to me the original noir was one reaction to the darkness of war and the disappointments of its immediate aftermath. The musical and other Hollywood fluff was another reaction (and to the Depression that preceded the war.) And so today we have both fluff, cozies, escapist "Reality " shows based on becoming Donald Trump's assistant and Mystic River, and other dark works.

The question to probe is why the noir? Why the escapism is a no brainer. There seems to be a need to probe darkness in a dark period. Cathartic like telling ghost stories late at night in a house in the woods as a small child. Maybe its like clearing the throat with cool water after a dose of a saccharine-laced drink. Perhaps to find, if only in a highly individualistic way, a partial way out of darkness, a triumph of the good on a small human scale. Maybe we sense a need to try to understand the dark side of the human experience since it manifests itself so strongly around us.

But it is pervasive. Take the latest Star Wars, Batman Begins, Sin City, Dogtown.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 26 Jun 2005 EDT