Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir is not for everybody

Date: 28 Sep 2005

I always assumed that the phrase "existential hero" was an apt description of noir protagonists. But I recently read a piece about Sartre who, it turns out, felt that existentilism was often a philosphy of joy and liberation.

I think a lot of this present discussion about noir makes it sound as if noir is the only possible (or legitimate) way to look at the world. A piece in the London Sunday Times a few months ago made the point that too much contemporary crime writing makes a "fetish" out of grimness for its own sake. I agree. It's like the old John Candy-Eugene Levy SCT hillbilly movie critics who judged all films by how many explosions were in them. "Blowed it up real good!" if you recall. Darkness for its own sake strikes me as a form of arrested adolescance. Life is too complicated and too ambiguous to be reduced to "darkness."

Ed Gorman

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