Harsh Texture

Film Reviews > film noir


    • crime
    • film noir
    • neo noir
    • thriller
    | Sept. 3, 2017, 4:17 p.m.
    Chinatown wasn’t the first neo-noir, but it remains the strongest. It and many other films embraced the noir by challenging its central tenets. Jake Gittes matches wits with a femme fatale, he corners the guilty man and announces the particulars of the murder, but where Humphrey Bogart and Dick Powell succeeded, he failed. Blood Simple belongs to this tradition. After delivering a sage treatise on the nature of justice in Texas, M. Emmet Walsh is discovered trailing a pair of illicit lovers within the first five minutes of screen time. I think back on Bogart in The
    • druggy
    • film noir
    • neo noir
    | Sept. 9, 2017, 3:44 p.m.
    Vintage private eye films were always wild stretches of logic. The PI connecting suspicious characters to dastardly deeds in the most convoluted fashion permitted by a 90 minute runtime. And they’d be right! Working off little more than intuition and first impressions they were able to deduce sordid histories and motives. They could keep track of who was sleeping with whom, and even the murderers of the minor characters. The true neo noirs starting in the late sixties threw out this tenet while showing a reverence for the other basics of the genre: the femme fatales, the
    • film noir
    • spy
    | March 18, 2018, 2:20 p.m.
    A pickpocket comes into possession of a bit of espionage. Both the Communist spies and the American Law Enforcement track him down. The pickpocket isn’t particularly concerned about either party and frustrates them both while claiming to have only allegiance to money. There are always a few Richard Widmarks kicking around at any given time. A-List talent that only seems to find their way into passable features. After their career’s end their filmographies hardly tell the tale of how large they once were. I was drawn to Pickup on South Street because it was one
    • film noir
    • mystery
    | March 24, 2018, 3:51 p.m.
    Seldom did classic noir join Los Angeles seediness with Hollywood glamor in such great proportions. Blue Dahlia marks the sixth collaboration between Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. Their rapport is so breezy and charmed that it almost makes you forget about the psychotic veterans, murders, shady dealings, and multiple identities lurking in plain view. This is a world where renting a hotel room is an invitation to robbery at gunpoint. Blue Dahlia achieves this by adding common noir touchstones to a murder mystery plot. Johnny (Ladd) returns home from the Pacific Theater along with two fellow soldiers.
    • film noir
    | Sept. 9, 2018, 2:27 p.m.
    The Maltese Falcon is the first true Film Noir feature, and thus one of the most influential movies ever released. Aside from the great cast and strong direction, Falcon can paradoxically be enjoyed for just how many genre tenets it disregarded as well as established.