Re: RARA-AVIS: Inanity Fare

Date: 07 Feb 2007

Kevin wrote:

"Sure, occasionally a modern stab at noir still clicks (BRICK, parts of HOLLYWOODLAND) but even then there's a self-consciousness about it that drags it all down."

Haven't seen Hollywoodland yet, but you're certainly right about Brick. As much as I like it (and I like it quite a bit), it is as much a commentary on noir as noir itself, encouraging noir fans like us to feel smug about catching the references and lineage. The same goes for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but more so.

Now if you want to see a contemporary noir, check out Unknown, just out on DVD. It's a trim film, cut down to less than 90 minutes, and might be dismissed by some as a gimmick film. True, it does flow from a plot device that begs credulity (no more so than Memento, in fact both rely on memory loss), but if you're willing to accept it (they do give an excuse to buy it), the film goes on to tell a very tight noir tale, with some very nice plot twists. And if you're the kind to think about the philosophical underpinnings of noir, as many of us here are, it engages issues of identity and whether choice or destiny makes us who we are
(and whether or not we are screwed).

Overall, a nice little film.


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