Noir week one is a go! I started off by reading the Notes on Noir and Intro to More Than Night, and then I watched Courageous Cat and Bugs Bunny. At that point I was like, ‘okay I got this, I know what this noir deal is about,’ but then as I sat down to start a draft of this weekly summary my mind went blank. I got the concept but wasn’t quite sure how to define it. I could point to the above Calvin and Hobbes comic and say, “That’s a noir parody,” but what made it noir exactly? The detective? The fedora? The dramatic narration? Or maybe the tough anti-hero?
After exploring some other recommended noir examples I went and re-listened to one of my favorite old podcasts, Welcome to Nightvale, because it was on the list but when I thought of noir, this was one of the last things on my mind. I thought it was about crime and gangsters, or detectives falling for beautiful ladies. So to try and pin down just what it was I turned to google.
“Film Noir (literally ‘black film or cinema’) was coined by French film critics (first by Nino Frank in 1946) who noticed the trend of how ‘dark’, downbeat and black the looks and themes were of many American crime and detective films” (x)
So noir is usually dark in appearance and deals with darker topics. It puts emphasis on fear, cynicism, and the dames. Usually it has to do with crime. After I thought more about how Nightvale fit into this category, I remembered that in later episodes the story explores the corrupt city and it’s mysterious citizens.
My other posts from this week: