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

Date: 28 Jul 2008

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    Jim wrote (of Dave):

    "That sounds rather like saying that SILVERADO, for example, falls short of being an actual western because it's merely an affectionate rehash of elements from western fiction with which we're all familiar. Or that THE BIG RED ONE, with its tough professional non- com, its callow young man who grows up in the crucible of combat, and its multi-ethnic squad of soldiers from all over America, somehow falls short of being an actual war story because it simply rehashes the elements of dozens of examples of military fiction."

    But isn't that referential self-consciousness exactly what you said keeps neo-noirs from being true noirs:

    "I do recognize a real difference between what strikes me as "real" film noir, B&W crime films made roughly from the '40's through the early
    '60's that shared certain visual elements, and the more self-conscious
    "neo-noirs" that started to appear in the '80's and '90's."

    For what it's worth, I don't think that's what Dave meant, though. I may not agree with him, do think Sin City is noir, even if it's a supercharged parody/homage, but it flows from his definition of noir as genre (as opposed to style).

    Dave also wasn't saying it's bad (so he couldn't have been saying it wasn't noir BECAUSE it wasn't good). In fact, he posted on just how much he liked it. But Dave can defend himself if he wants.

    Snottiness aside, I agree with your point that it's far more productive to discuss quality than nomenclature.

    And in that vein, I think Sin City was a whole lot of fun, just like the books it was based on. In fact, I like it for exactly the same reason Kevin discounts it. I like that it strips hardboiled/noir to its essentials, reduces the genre to its essentials, just those essentials, then pumps them up and plays with them, in the process telling us a whole lot about those archetypes. But this is no Propped up morphology, no dry dissertation. Most of all, the movie was just a whole lot of fun.


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