Tag: Film Noir

2016, Movies

The Nice Guys (2016, Shane Black)

This is pretty hilarious slapstick buddy comedy mashed up with a period film noir set in LA in 1977. I didn’t realize this is the guy who made Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but it was, and if you liked that movie, you’ll no doubt like this.

2016, Movies

City of Tiny Lights (2016, Pete Travis)

City of Tiny Lights takes a really traditional noir story (some might say tired) and ingeniously transplants it to contemporary London, in particular a multi-ethnic, predominantly Muslim neighbourhood. All the classic noir tropes are here but in a completely new form. SPOILERS

1955, Movies

The Big Combo (1955, Joseph H. Lewis)

This is a pretty standard film noir/gangster film, almost wholly lacking in backstory (only one character has one!), character development or mystery. (The film’s central mystery is pretty boring.) The dialogue is hackneyed and almost sounds like a parody of better noir at times. A couple of the characters drastically change their behaviour during the …

1970, Movies

Der amerikanische Soldat (1970, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

This is an early Fassbinder film – I think maybe it’s his 5th – that has many hallmarks of his style but failed to move me in the way that his later work does. It’s a film noir – at least in style if not in pacing – and Fassbinder goes all out with his …

1958, Movies

Elevator to the Gallows (1958, Louis Malle)

A film like this is why the French New Wave is celebrated. How a first time filmmaker made something this assured, this original, this unique, this unbelievably cool, I will never know. The film takes noir conventions and revitalizes them with location shooting, confined spaces, a very judicious use of technique and, of course, the …

1987, Movies

Angel Heart (1987, Alan Parker)

This is an over-stylized but interesting attempt at reviving American Film Noir in a decade in which it could be presumed dead and it’s combined with an interesting genre-mashing twist. There are some obvious problems: For one, the accents are nonexistent. DeNiro doesn’t try a Cajun accent, neither does Bonet (and what’s with the flat …

2014, Movies

Cut Snake (2014, Tony Ayres)

Cut Snake is an interesting but flawed attempt to update classic Hollywood film noir with better characterizations (for lack of a better word). We’ve got some classic tropes: a mysterious man “without a past” so to speak, a femme fatale – only, in a neat twist, this one’s a man! and bad decisions. Unfortunately, the …

1942, Movies

This Gun for Hire (1942, Frank Tuttle)

This is a pretty by-the-numbers ’40s noir with many of the conventions more obvious than normal (Ladd is tough, but sensitive, etc). The best part is probably the variety of great locations. The overly patriotic nature is a little annoying and so is much of the acting from the supporting players (particularly the talent agent …

1947, Movies

“Kiss of Death” (1947, Henry Hathaway) and “Panic in the Streets” (1950, Elia Kazan)

Kiss of Death (no, not the Cage-Caruso remake… though I’m sure that’s awesome): Things that were good: The ridiculously tense and very well-directed (for its time) opening and closing sequences. Watching the scene in the elevator I couldn’t help but think what average modern directors (would do with it. They’d ruin it. The acting was fine, I …

1990, 1991, Movies, TV

Twin Peaks and After Dark, My Sweet (1990, James Foley)

In the CD player: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One by Yo La Tengo After the solving of Laura Palmer’s murder about half way through the 2nd season, Twin Peaks became harder to like. Some episodes were pretty good but others (such as the first episode after said solved crime) were SUPER weak. …

1977, Movies

The American Friend (1977, Wim Wenders)

Just watched The American Friend. I didn’t realize this, but Ripley’s Game that movie with John Malkovich that didn’t do swell, and the former movie are based on the same book. It’s quite interesting. Wenders doesn’t explain a lot of the backstory and there’s a real sense of randomness, which I think is something not …