RARA-AVIS: Another Definition of Noir

From: Jack Bludis (buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 24 Jul 2010

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    Dick Lochte quoted Dave Kehr, NY Times movie critic's definition of film noir:

    "... a pervasive sense of urban menace and malign fate, conveyed by a Germanic visual style full of threatening shadows and forced perspectives; a fall-guy hero wrenched out of a comfortable existence by an arbitrary twist of fate or a moment of moral weakness; a femme fatale who leads the hero on with her sexuality but ultimately only wants to use him and toss him away; a downbeat ending that finds the protagonist defeated or dead - or, preferably, both."

    Delete the words after the first semicolon, and I believe we have an almost perfect description of noir fiction.

    It ain't concise, but it's quite precise.

    Jack Bludis


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