RARA-AVIS: Types of noir (was Re: Pop. 1280)

From: Dave Zeltserman ( dz@hardluckstories.com)
Date: 26 Jul 2007

Psycho noir is a relatively new term that's been popping to describe movies like Blue Velvet, Fight Club and Memento where the protagonist is somewhat out of touch with reality.

I posted the following definition of psycho noir on my Hardluck Stories web-site, not sure if others agree, but this is my view of it, especially how it pertains to Thompson:

"...where the protagonists perceptions and rationalizations are just off center enough to send them to hell."

The esteemable James Winter posted the following definition on his Northcoast Exhile blog, which I could succinct + pretty good:

"In psycho noir, the protagonist is, quite frankly, a scumbag, knows he's a scumbag, yet deludes himself that he is not."

I look at standard noir more like James M. Cain's "Double Indemnity" or "Postman Always Rings Twice"--where the protagonist crosses a line where there's no turning--basically Jack Bludis's definition of noir==screwed.

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Kat Richardson" <kathyr136@...> wrote:
> --- "Dave Zeltserman" <dz@> wrote:
> His books fall into the following categories--psycho
> > noir, standard noir, literary/crime novels where the hero
> > perserveres, conman oriented, semi-autobiographical and two early
> > Faulkner-like novels, Heed the Thunder and Now and on Earth,
> > are very good. My favorites of his pure noir....
> ---
> Sorry to butt in and show my ignorance on a first date--err...
> post--I'm new and though I like hardboiled and noir, I'm not sure I
> know what all the shades of meaning in your list are. I get
> "lit/crime" and conman and semi-autobio, but can you break down the
> differences between "psycho-noir," "standard noir" and "pure noir"
> me? I'm lost with these and I missed any helpful hints that might
> posted elsewhere.
> Thanks for your patience with this noob.
> Kat

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