RARA-AVIS: Re: The Dark Night. No, the Noir Knight. No, the Black Knight. Oh, good night...

From: davezeltserman (davezelt@rcn.com)
Date: 26 Jul 2008

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Burton Smith <kvnsmith@...> wrote:
    > SIN CITY was pretty pictures: nice to look at, but emotionally hollow;
    > PULP FICTION without the wit or grace or narrative muscle. If PULP
    > FICTION at its best aspired to BLACK MASK or DIME DETECTIVE, SIN CITY
    > quickly settled for 5 CENT AMAZING DETECTIVE STORIES or some D-list
    > pulp, barely worth the splinters, filled with stories by writers
    > several notches below Hammett/Chandler/Spillane wannabes (Hammett/
    > Chandler/Spillane wannabe wannabes?).
    > As for it being noir, even if you want to waste your time arguing that
    > point, it was noir mostly by trope and rote; not so much written as a
    > list of noirish cliches checked off one by one, with big f/x-laden
    > "scenes" substituted for actual character development. Like a lot of
    > what passes for noir these days.

    Kevin, I take it you didn't like Sin City? That's too bad. Personally I found it one of the funnest, most innovative and visually boldest movies of 2005. I agree with you about it not being noir. I'd call it instead hardboiled pulp with noir archetypes. About there being no character development, well, I'm not sure a movie like this requires intense character development, but I'd still have to think Marv and Hartigan were interesting and in their own ways sympathetic even if they were not much more than archetypes. D-list pulp? No, much better than that. Sorry, but with this one I tend to side with nearly every major movie reviewer that Sin City was a stunning achievement.

    --Dave Z.

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