Is motivation a critical component in defining any genre or subgenre?
Consider Simon Kernick's Milne in THE BUSINESS OF DYING. A cop who's a
hitman, but only for the right targets. In other words, they have to fit in
with his moral code - no citizens, just bad guys he can justify killing. It
could be argued that the motivation was a sense of public duty - I think
Milne wanted to believe that himself - but that certainly wouldn't change
the fact that the books are hardboiled. Carry on with A GOOD DAY TO DIE and
again, we have noble motivations behind crimes. One can look at Dexter and
say the same thing - at least in the TV show they try to justify every
killing. It doesn't make him any less a serial killer, and it doesn't turn
the show into a cozy.
I'm not intending to nitpick, but this idea of motivation as a critical
component really struck me. I guess I feel that if someone has all good
motivations and is really trying hard to fix some problem/stop something bad
from happening and they fail, it's more likely to be noir. At the very
least, it's more depressing.
That said, I'm content to let noir be defined by the individual, as the
argument over what is and is not noir is one that nobody will ever win, and
thus an exercise in futility.
On Fri, Jul 25, 2008 at 8:49 AM, davezeltserman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> having seen nothing in
> either of Christopher Nolan Batman films to suggest that Batman's
> motivation is anything other than a sense of public duty, The Dark
> Knight does not fit my definition.
> --- In email@example.com <rara-avis-l%40yahoogroups.com>, JIM
> DOHERTY <jimdohertyjr@...> wrote:
> > Dave,
> > Re your comments below:
> > "My definition of noir involves a damning, a character giving into his
> > baser instincts and weaknesses and dooming himself either psychically
> > or physically."
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