Noir: dark cities, dark people
You have to have heard about the «Noir» at least once in your life. In short, Noir is a large reservoir in contemporary culture, a certain aesthetics that can be expressed in books, movies, TV shows and even comics. In General, the word «noir» of French origin and means «black, dark». If taken literally, the «dill». Indeed, the Russian «dill», which sometimes visits our screens, very similar to what we call Noir. But we decided to stay at the phenomenon in more detail, because to pass such it is impossible.
Noir, like many other cultural formations emerged from the literature. And purely American literature, to be more specific, from the so-called «tough» crime novel. Such reading was popular in those years, when poverty and the mafia devoured ordinary Americans. The writers tried to reflect what he saw around him. And the result was not a rosy picture. «Cool» novel, in fact, like Noir, was something like a detective, but, in contrast, this literature does not put me in the intellectual game with the reader. In these books, often cheap, mass, dominated by the desire to reveal the characters, show personality and history. The main character «cool» of the novel was a good brutal a guy, usually a detective or police officer, private detective. But the «tough» novel – a forerunner of film Noir, as in the latter the main character almost always was a man of criminal mentality and low moral qualities, a man «without sin». Here it is appropriate to compare two seasons of popular TV series «True Detective.» The first season may partially resemble a «cool crime novel», but the second, with its colorful, criminal heroes, more like something created in narowal keys.
Like any genre of literature, «black affair» was considered a low genre. He was disowned by eminent critics, it was called dreadful and contrary to all human values together. But it read very well. Hard realism, swearing, self-destruction of the protagonist, as well as sex scenes liking to the American reader. The genre rose to his feet in the 30-ies, he found his lover’s and even got some stamps, which are known until now: the femme fatale, the constant Smoking of the characters, dark bars.
The criminals in these books were very colorful and unusual. If you want to read in this vein, some writer, we suggest you first Cornell Woolrich. He is considered the founding father of this direction. Although, of course, this phenomenon is not limited to one author. The great Depression gave the world a lot of talent.
The author’s attitude is often transmitted through a hero who is also the narrator. That is: cynicism, pessimism, a rather bleak look at the reality, to what is happening around you, the world is ruled by evil, there is no justice, crime invincible, invincible corrupt politicians and so on.
Vladimir Kozlov, the writer. From a lecture on Noir literature.
The main flourishing of the genre peaked in 40-50 years, when Noir turned his gaze Hollywood cinema. The whole group of Directors focused only on this style. The reason for this popularity may be is pushing and the atmosphere, which was American society in the middle ages: the Second world war, the beginning of the cold war, distrust of the government, to the state authorities and, in particular, to the police. People, despite its outward appearance, which showed them the TV, still knew that something is not as it should be. At this time, there are such films as «the Maltese Falcon» by John Huston based on a novel Hammett, «Ministry of Fear» by Fritz lang and «touch of Evil» Orson Welles. All these paintings are classical representatives of the genre Noir, and all of them are respected in our time as a true classic of world cinema.
Themes of evil, omnipresent paranoia, betrayal and despair the key in the submitted films. The style is always the dark side. In this movie will never be clumsy heroic kind, and happy endings. They have evil people sometimes do evil. They leave no room in their action for the ambiguity. Now which villain take, it can always be understood. In Noir, there are some which simply cannot be understood – it is a complete immersion in the darkness. In such movies very interesting is the boundary between good and evil. There is, when determine it is almost impossible. The detective story, as in literary sources, almost always depart on the second plan.
The gradual forcing of the atmosphere instead of active actions is a conscious choice of the filmmakers and one of the defining features of Noir cinema.
Until the late 50’s Noir again retreated into the shadows, but soon returned. 70 years was strained to the American society (Vietnam, Watergate), what was the reason for the new narowal wave, which quickly disappeared, but also left its mark in the world culture. Movies of this era called neo-neurowiki. For example, the film Roman Polanski’s «Chinatown» is a sign of the time and is representative of the style. Another cool movie you can name the movie by F. F. Coppola «the Conversation». They tried to reinvent the art of cinema itself.
Our time is not accurately define genre boundaries. Too was all mixed. However, we can see certain elements that were borrowed from this style. A lot of them, especially lately. We can say that with the release of the film «Sin City» genre regained popularity. Its components have become stylish and are found even in the comedies, for example, in the TV series «Fargo.» We have already talked about «true Detective» also it is reasonable to assume that in the TV series «Aquarius» wormed some of the techniques typical of film Noir, although there is still more influence has the «cool detective». However, the notion of zerowaste always conditional. Although this situation is very happy. All these stories about a perfectly clean police detectives who only do that to save the world, rather tired. Film lacks realism, «chernushny» in some sense, the sense that behind a successful career as a detective may be hiding alcoholism, drug addiction, bribery, banal misery, the human fall and the shame.
If to speak of something exotic influence narowal aesthetics, take, for example, some very successful and well sold comic books in our time. Let’s say Marvel has a series called «Marvel Noir», where the typical characters of the popular comic book depicted in the context of the great Depression. Just imagine the Aunt may from Spider-Man that promoted socialist ideas, and Peter Parker, which is going through hard times.» There are, of course, a graphic novel by Frank Miller «Sin City». But the more cool we thought the comic book series, which not so long ago did the game Studio Telltale Games. Series called Fables (Tales), its author is bill Willingham. The game itself was called «the Wolf Among Us». Perhaps you even played it. As the game and the comics deserve your attention. A more original story in the context of comics rarely happens.