Shades of Gray

Shades of Gray

21

Nov

2017

Noir means, of course, "black"; and it refers not only to the dark moods and bleak tone of American crime dramas of the '40s and '50s, but also to the impenetrable slabs of shadow that surround the violence and betrayal on screen.  Much of what made noir what it is had to do with these blocks of darkness, intersected by sh ...
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The Stars Are Ageless

The Stars Are Ageless

16

Nov

2017

If you'd never seen Sunset Blvd. before -- if you knew nothing about it, about its unique place in cinematic history, about the curious effect it had on both the public and the town it opened up like and old and ugly pornographic magazine -- you'd be forgiven for wondering why it's considered film noir at all.  While it ...
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Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert

14

Nov

2017

Noir is a hard thing to parody, because noir itself is so close to parody even in its purest form.  We like to talk about it as a gritty, realistic form of cinema -- and it is!  At least, sort of. But in other ways, it's so attenuated and abstracted, with its stylized visuals inherited from German expressionist cinema and ...
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The Blacklist

The Blacklist

9

Nov

2017

Before we get too much deeper into Noirvember, I've often been asked to provide a list of my all-time favorite noir films.  This is painfully hard to do, because it's like picking my favorite bastard child whose birth I had nothing to do with.  It's a lot of good movies, folks.  Also, I'm pretty sure that I've done this ...
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A Bright Guilty World

A Bright Guilty World

8

Nov

2017

It's Noirvember again, and I'm once more looking forward to a month of immersing myself into my all-time favorite film genre, with all its grubby shadows and lines that are sharp but never clean.  When I was at the Chicago International Film Festival this year, I was intrigued by the offerings of their Film Noir program, b ...
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Show Me Forgiveness

Show Me Forgiveness

6

Nov

2017

It may be too soon to talk about forgiveness.  The sins of the world are still so great, after all; and we are only now developing the language and the means to articulate our objections to some of its greatest crimes.  Why should we now talk about forgiveness, when even now, the powerful are contriving ways to continue t ...
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