RARA-AVIS: Re: Disappearance of the private film and the detective film in gener

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 20 Mar 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Channing" <filmtroll@...> wrote:
    > I'm not sure what everyone is grumbling about. There are plenty of excellent films being made today with hard-boiled or noir elements. Many of them are popular, too.
    > Just a quick look at the top grossing Crime Thrillers include "The Departed", "American Gangster" "Pulp Fiction", "Collateral" "Mystic River" "Payback", "Heat" and "Goodfellas." All of those were released in the past 10-15 years, and they're all good to excellent movies and successful financially, too.

    Well, what we are talking about are not (or not necessarily) "thrillers" but deliberate films that create tension and anticipation, not necessarily relying on action or driven by action. Films whose purpose may not be at all to thrill. A film like The Naked City, mentioned by Cinefrog, does not try to thrill. It's a great example of what we're talking about. So is the recent masterpiece _Before The Devil Knows You're Dead_, which combines hardboiled and noir.

    What myself and other people were complaining about is the predominance of action-driven thrillers over deliberate crime films, specifically detective films. I think that in crime story writing, as in sex, anticipation is important and contributes to the enjoyment. In a film where action is constant, there is a danger of saturating the viewer, so that the anticipation process (as well as close scrutiny of the characters) becomes impossible. Perhaps the intention of many such action-packed thrillers is to short-circuit the process I'm describing. This is not a good thing.



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