? Ofra Haza: Im Nin Alu | Main | Courage and superb gallantry ?

July 21, 2006

There’s no such thing as courage; there’s only fear


I have been watching neo-noir films I missed the first time round. I liked Memento and Mulholland Drive just fine but they left me wanting to watch more of the real thing. My noir festival started with Dark Passage and it is a trip. For one thing, I had no idea Lauren Bacall was so beautiful. Just exquisite... but more than just exquisite. Her character is sharp and capable and one of the most desirable women in all of cinema. Also, great interior design sense which is bonus and extra.

Irene Jansen: I thought I had a good life here... but your going away doesn't make it seem good anymore. I've sort of joined your team and... and I don't look forward to being without you.

Vincent Parry: When I leave here, you're off my team, and lucky to be. Nah, I've got the Indian sign on me. It seems I can't win.

Remember: The next time she tells you she is staying in to "finish some sketches" chances are she is harbouring an escaped convict thereby righting a wrong and fighting the good fight. You are going to have to be pretty sharp to compete with that.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 21, 2006 12:24 PM


Oooh I have a link for you. Will find.

Posted by: agent bedhead [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2006 12:39 PM

Been watching some over the last few years as well. Recently very much enjoyed the Film Noir classics Vol 2 (Born to Kill / Clash by Night / Crossfire / Dillinger (1945) / The Narrow Margin (1952)). All solid. Will have to look for volumes 1 and 3.


Posted by: The_Campblog [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2006 01:03 PM

Film noir rules, IMHO. The original DOA, for instance. And if you get a chance, I'd recommend Hangover Square as a truly offbeat example of film noir set in Edwardian London.

Posted by: utron [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2006 04:03 PM

Keep the noir recommendations coming! My suggestions: Macao (1952) and The Night of the Hunter (1955). Both are Robert Mitchum classics.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2006 05:29 PM

Lots of great stuff to click through here...

Otto Preminger's "Laura" (1944) is excellent.

"Scarlet Street" with Edward G. Robinson (found on DVD in a 3-film Edward G. Robinson set) also very good.

"Nightmare Alley" (1947) with Tyrone Power is another solid one out on DVD. Situated around carnival life, not a typical noir.

Some of these dvd's come with some very interesting commentary by people involved with the films or experts on the genre.

Posted by: The_Campblog [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 22, 2006 07:32 AM

One such commentary tidbit I recall had to do with the use of San Francisco as a setting. Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation (on the commentary for "Born to Kill", I believe) commented that San Fran was often a setting for noir films and that it was the Bay Bridge, not the Golden Gate, that filmmakers used in frames for the sole reason that it provided the city itself as a backdrop. You wouldn't see the city itself if they'd used the Golden Gate.

Posted by: The_Campblog [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 22, 2006 07:45 AM

Funny you should mention that because as I was watching "Dark Passage" I wondered why it was set in San Francisco vs anywhere else. There is a great stair-climbing scene but it had the feel of a director taking advantage of local circumstances rather than something intrinsic to the development of the plot or the character.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 22, 2006 08:27 AM

Out of the Past, Double Indemnity, The Third Man...

A really great neo-noir film is Miller's Crossing, by the Coen Brothers.

Posted by: dorkafork [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 24, 2006 02:01 PM