RARA-AVIS: The French definition of noir

From: Juri Nummelin ( juri.nummelin@pp.inet.fi)
Date: 01 Oct 2005

The French critics used the word "noir" already earlier before the WWII to describe some of the films that were made in the country, such as Marcel Carn駳 PORT OF SHADOWS. The films were also called the poetic realism: dark, gloomy, atmospheric, and also with a sense of doom.

I don't know who coined the term first in the thirties, but I'd suggest everyone read James Naremore's excellent study of the subject, MORE THAN NIGHT, which discusses largely the birth of the definition of noir (and many of its later uses - it's mainly about movies, though).

I know one thing where Jim Doherty was wrong. Marcel Duhamel's line of books was Serie Noire, not Serie Noir.

Juri http://pulpetti.blogspot.com

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