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Noirvember Challenge

post #1 of 172
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure who invented it, but for the last few years Noirvember has been a fun thing on Twitter.  So let's do it here! Rules are simple: like the October Horror Movie Challenge, the idea is to watch as many Noirs as you can for the month.  List the movies watched, where they were watched (home, theater, etc.), and whether they are re-watches or new viewings. Like the October Challenge, keep a running  list, ranked by preference, chronological, or by order of viewing. 

 

In the Draft Thread, Rath summed up what should be exciting: " the debates over what constitutes noir could be fantastic. You'd have black and white purists, arguments over tone, nerds like me who insist that neo-noir isn't really a thing..."

post #2 of 172

Here's a handy listing of 100 great noirs - https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/08/the-100-best-noirs-of-all-time.html?a=1 

Looking at the list, I definitely have some blind spots. I haven't seen #1!

post #3 of 172

Out of the Past is Number One. 
 

All others are number two, or lower. 
 

Shout out to Jules Dassin's near-last American picture, NIGHT AND THE CITY, a film he got blacklisted during, but through the good grace and smart thinking of Zanuck, was able to complete. 

 

Also, Gene Tierney in everything for everything, ever. 

post #4 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

Out of the Past is Number One. 
 

All others are number two, or lower. 
 

Shout out to Jules Dassin's near-last American picture, NIGHT AND THE CITY, a film he got blacklisted during, but through the good grace and smart thinking of Zanuck, was able to complete. 

 

Also, Gene Tierney in everything for everything, ever. 

She's so great in Leave Her to Heaven.

Night and the City is excellent. Does Rififi count? Because holy shit Rififi.

I haven't seen Out of the Past :/

post #5 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

She's so great in Leave Her to Heaven.

Night and the City is excellent. Does Rififi count? Because holy shit Rififi.

I haven't seen Out of the Past :/

 

I would count Rififi. It's a heist movie, but it feels noir to me. 

 

Leave Her to Heaven is one of my favorite movies. 

Also, I recommend NIGHTMARE ALLEY, which will probably surprise you with the subversive things it gets away with - not just sex, but religion!

post #6 of 172
RIFIFI, wonderful though it is, is disqualified by virtue of not being American. Classic noir is distinctly and uniquely American.
post #7 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

RIFIFI, wonderful though it is, is disqualified by virtue of not being American. Classic noir is distinctly and uniquely American.

 

Nah. 

post #8 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

Nah. 
Absolutely. Classic noir is an American film movement that spans from 1941-1958. RIFIFI is a blood relative of classic noir but lacks the uniquely American thematic concerns that dominate noir.

For me, the greatest of the great noirs are the following:

THE BIG HEAT
IN A LONELY PLACE
THE KILLING
KISS ME DEADLY
THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
OUT OF THE PAST
SCARLET STREET
SUNSET BOULEVARD
SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS
TOUCH OF EVIL
post #9 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


Absolutely. Classic noir is an American film movement that spans from 1941-1958. RIFIFI is a blood relative of classic noir but lacks the uniquely American thematic concerns that dominate noir.

For me, the greatest of the great noirs are the following:

THE BIG HEAT
IN A LONELY PLACE
THE KILLING
KISS ME DEADLY
THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
OUT OF THE PAST
SCARLET STREET
SUNSET BOULEVARD
SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS
TOUCH OF EVIL

 

We're of the same mind with regards to noir being limited to a specific time and place (though I think that date is fluid - BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING is '65 and maybe the last great noir)  - but I think the global psychological presence of WWII and immediately thereafter (particularly wrt to the ramifications of the Holocaust and nuclear power) can be felt across the world, and so noir films of that period can come from other parts of the globe. Not just Rififi, but THE THIRD MAN, too. 

 

So yeah: Nah. 

 

(THE BIG HEAT, where the gangsters have moved to the suburbs like everyone else, is so great.)

post #10 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

We're of the same mind with regards to noir being limited to a specific time and place (though I think that date is fluid - BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING is '65 and maybe the last great noir)  - but I think the global psychological presence of WWII and immediately thereafter (particularly wrt to the ramifications of the Holocaust and nuclear power) can be felt across the world, and so noir films of that period can come from other parts of the globe. Not just Rififi, but THE THIRD MAN, too. 

So yeah: Nah. 
There's gray area, but I'd categorize BUNNY LAKE as neo-noir, along with noir aftershocks like SHOCK CORRIDOR and THE NAKED KISS.

In a thematic sense, KISS ME DEADLY is the "last noir," bringing the genre into collision with science fiction and Cold War anxieties.

And I agree that noir echoes around the world in the cinema of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, but I prefer a very strict and clear definition of "classic noir." If we want to make a space for stuff like RIFIFI, I'd call it Euro-noir.
post #11 of 172
Thread Starter 

I might get a lot of sling and arrows, but I'm going to go modern with some of my choices. Like OUT OF THE PAST IS the greatest, but I also love AGAINST ALL ODDS. And I consider the Fred Williamson Blaxploitation detective film BLACK EYE Noir. I'll try to make my cases upon revisiting, but you are all welcome to boo and hiss and shout me down.

post #12 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


There's gray area, but I'd categorize BUNNY LAKE as neo-noir, along with noir aftershocks like SHOCK CORRIDOR and THE NAKED KISS.

In a thematic sense, KISS ME DEADLY is the "last noir," bringing the genre into collision with science fiction and Cold War anxieties.

And I agree that noir echoes around the world in the cinema of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, but I prefer a very strict and clear definition of "classic noir." If we want to make a space for stuff like RIFIFI, I'd call it Euro-noir.

 

I think neo-noir is a faulty term, and we should come up with a better name for it, because anything past the 60s isn't noir, but rather, noir influenced. As you said, there are thematic and cultural concerns of that original era that - like the classic years of punk rock - may take on different forms over the years, but what makes noir noir can really only be found in the 40s and 50s. 

plus it just sounds dumb.

post #13 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 


 

Shout out to Jules Dassin's near-last American picture, NIGHT AND THE CITY, a film he got blacklisted during, but through the good grace and smart thinking of Zanuck, was able to complete. 

 

 

Do you consider UPTIGHT Noir? It's been a while, but I remember it as excitingly its own unique, angry thing. Very of its time. Yet still in line with Dassin's classics.

post #14 of 172
Thread Starter 

There's a wave of 80's (Neo-) Noir dubbed 'Sunshine Noir' in some circles.

 

When I'm on a Noir kick I love mixing the classic and modern eras. The way the films contrast and compliment each other is fascinating. Like often when I revisit DOUBLE INDEMITY ....I HAVE to watch BODY HEAT. After the original POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, I always want to double shot it with Bob Rafelson remake.

post #15 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
 

I might get a lot of sling and arrows, but I'm going to go modern with some of my choices. Like OUT OF THE PAST IS the greatest, but I also love AGAINST ALL ODDS. And I consider the Fred Williamson Blaxploitation detective film BLACK EYE Noir. I'll try to make my cases upon revisiting, but you are all welcome to boo and hiss and shout me down.

Yeah, I have several "neo" choices as well. It's a shame I watched the new Blu of BLOOD SIMPLE last week, I should have saved it.

 

KISS ME DEADLY and DOUBLE INDEMNITY are probably my two faves. I look forward to adding more to the list.

post #16 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

I think neo-noir is a faulty term, and we should come up with a better name for it, because anything past the 60s isn't noir, but rather, noir influenced.
I hate the term, too. But it's too established to throw away without having a position as an eminent cultural commentator.
post #17 of 172

Anyone see TOO LATE FOR TEARS?

 

Lotsa fun!

post #18 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
 

There's a wave of 80's (Neo-) Noir dubbed 'Sunshine Noir' in some circles.

I recall a book called Film Soleil by DK Holm which touched on this - http://www.pocketessentials.com/film-soleil

 

Quote:
If traditional film noir is a genre of mid-century black and white urban crime thrillers evoking an expressionist mood with its dark corners and back alleys, with its trench coats and shadows slanting through Venetian blinds in dusty offices where the scent of death hangs in a plume of coiling cigarette smoke and where mysterious women with golden hair and stiletto heels plead their case to a P.I. fighting inner demons, then film soleil is its modern or late-century reconfiguration, adapted to modern tastes and exploiting technical inovations, using as its most common setting dry sun-beaten highways that cut mercilessly through a parched, sagebrush-filled desert, its women in cowboy boots and jeans and the men deranged by their biological drives.


The string of late century sunlit crime films officially began in 1984 with the release of Blood Simple, and soon included Kill Me Again (1989), After Dark, My Sweet (1990), and One False Move (1992), heralding the arrival of a new cinematic style that, unlike traditional noir, sometimes celebrated evil, rewarded greed, and in general indicated significant moral shifts in the culture.

post #19 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
 

There's a wave of 80's (Neo-) Noir dubbed 'Sunshine Noir' in some circles.

 

The great author/noir historian Megan Abbott has talked a lot about how she thinks the late 70s (post-Nixon, pre-Reagan) was a great time to set noir-influenced fiction (she has a lovely, seedy story about Bob Crane I highly recommend). I'm inclined to agree. 

 

There's also the transition happening in literature, though it applies to films as well, in the noir era from "crime fiction" to what we would call "domestic suspense," which has echoes and reverberations today, but because it's largely by and about women, hasn't been given its critical due. "Domestic suspense" or the "suburban thriller" tend to have a lot of the same thematic concerns as noir does. 

 

One of the things that's always surprised me is that - with a few exceptions - there have been few great noir-influenced films to come out of the 2008 economic crash and downturn. GONE GIRL, maybe, but even that walks a line between noir, dark comedy, and suspense ("You think you'd be happy with a nice Midwestern girl? No way, baby, I'm it" is one of the all time great noir/femme fatale lines and I will fight anyone who says otherwise). 

post #20 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

 

One of the things that's always surprised me is that - with a few exceptions - there have been few great noir-influenced films to come out of the 2008 economic crash and downturn. GONE GIRL, maybe, but even that walks a line between noir, dark comedy, and suspense ("You think you'd be happy with a nice Midwestern girl? No way, baby, I'm it" is one of the all time great noir/femme fatale lines and I will fight anyone who says otherwise). 

The first that comes to mind is maybe Killing Me Softly, although it's more interested in being a didactic treatise than an involving crime film.

post #21 of 172
I'm not sure I can participate in any meaningful way - October has been exhausting - but when I think of Neo-Noir, I'm most enamored of the John Dahl one two punch of Red Rock West and The Last Seduction.
post #22 of 172

I'm very far from having a particularly informed view on what is noir and what isn't, btu I'd be well up for getting in on this.

 

I'm guessing, if I've followed the above discussion correctly, that you would all consider The Maltese Falcon and Detour noir, but not Stray DogLift to the Scaffold, Thief or The Last Seduction?

 

Edit: Arjen beat me to the last one.

post #23 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post
 

I'm very far from having a particularly informed view on what is noir and what isn't, btu I'd be well up for getting in on this.

 

I'm guessing, if I've followed the above discussion correctly, that you would all consider The Maltese Falcon and Detour noir, but not Stray DogLift to the Scaffold, Thief or The Last Seduction?

 

Edit: Arjen beat me to the last one.

Each of those movies are on that Paste list I posted above. I have a feeling we may stretch the definition at times. But hey, that could mean more discussion.

I doubt I'll knock out 30 noirs next month, but I'm looking forward to finally catching some films I've been meaning to see for a while.

post #24 of 172

Damn....I just watched DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID about a month ago.  

post #25 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

 

The great author/noir historian Megan Abbott has talked a lot about how she thinks the late 70s (post-Nixon, pre-Reagan) was a great time to set noir-influenced fiction (she has a lovely, seedy story about Bob Crane I highly recommend). I'm inclined to agree. 

 

 

 

NIGHT MOVES is probably the great example of this.

 

Have you seen the Dreyfuss film THE BIG FIX? Kind of forgotten, but it is really interesting for capturing feel of Boomer anxiety and dealing with post-60's selling out.

 

Big fix.jpg

 

It's my second favorite Dreyfuss after JAWS.

post #26 of 172
Somehow, November feels like the wrong month for this.

Film noir plays best in August, as summer stagnates and the heat becomes tiresome.
post #27 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
 

 

NIGHT MOVES is probably the great example of this.

 

Have you seen the Dreyfuss film THE BIG FIX? Kind of forgotten, but it is really interesting for capturing feel of Boomer anxiety and dealing with post-60's selling out.

 

Big fix.jpg

 

It's my second favorite Dreyfuss after JAWS.

 

NIGHT MOVES is wonderful. 

post #28 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

NIGHT MOVES is wonderful. 
Indeed it is. I love the entire "stoner noir" subgenre.
post #29 of 172

I remember NIGHT MOVES being pretty good, but holy cow...that must have been 20 years ago when I last saw it.

 

Side note: another underrated and underseen Dreyfuss movie (not a Noir, though) is LET IT RIDE.  This one should have been a hit.

post #30 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post

Each of those movies are on that Paste list I posted above. I have a feeling we may stretch the definition at times. But hey, that could mean more discussion.


I doubt I'll knock out 30 noirs next month, but I'm looking forward to finally catching some films I've been meaning to see for a while.

Mea Culpa- I didn't click on the link.
post #31 of 172
Nice idea Elvis, I've re-watched The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep in the last few months and could definitely do with some more noir in my life.
post #32 of 172
DOA was always one of my favorites.
post #33 of 172

Agreed about Night Moves. Based on Holm's description above it seems glaring to me that he would leave out The Long Goodbye and its stoned California vibe. Also: Cutter's Way.

 

post #34 of 172

Night Moves really gets at something that's a hallmark of these sunshine noirs - the feeling that the dream of the sixties is over, maybe wasn't that great to begin with, and all that's left is the sleaze and slime. 

post #35 of 172

Quote:

Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

Somehow, November feels like the wrong month for this.

Film noir plays best in August, as summer stagnates and the heat becomes tiresome.

True, but Noirgust is an annoying thing to say.

post #36 of 172
Thread Starter 

Noirvember is here!

 

(props Marya, My Sweet for this very cool video)

 

post #37 of 172

Here's another extensive list which might come in handy. It seems to lean more on classic stuff - http://letterboxd.com/pileofcrowns/list/1000-noir-films-they-shot-dark-pictures-didnt/

post #38 of 172
Thread Starter 

I needed a one day breather before starting my new marathon. I guess some of you did, too.

 

All ready to roll with THE BIG SLEEP/ LONG GOODBYE/ FAREWELL, MY LOVELY, but this Kim Morgan write up has me deciding to kick off with a Elmore Leonard double bill of 52 PICK-UP + JACKIE BROWN

 

"Jackie Brown & the power of Pam Grier in a great crime picture & a great *woman's* picture"

 

Jackie Brown

Pam Grier in a performance for the ages.

 

http://thenewbev.com/blog/2016/10/jackie-brown/

post #39 of 172

52 PICK-UP is a good one.  Might need to hunt that one down.

 

Not sure if it counts as Noir (probably not), but we watched SEVEN DAYS IN MAY last night.  Good God, what a fantastic movie.  Career best performances out of Lancaster, Douglas, and March.  I've seen THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and SECONDS countless times, but I'd never gotten around to seeing the third paranoia film from Frankenheimer...glad I finally watched it because it's really an exceptional film.

post #40 of 172

SEVEN DAYS played at the Belcourt just a few weeks ago, I'm kicking myself for missing it!

I believe tonight I'll be starting with OUT OF THE PAST. I'm guessing my selections will make most of you say "Oh man I can't believe you haven't seen that!" as the month goes on.

post #41 of 172
Thread Starter 

1. 52 PICK -UP  - (DVR) top shelf Cannon, and a return to form for Frankenheimer after floundering a bit. There's an everyman quality and world weariness to Scheider that made him an ideal updated Noir protagonist.  He's legitably great here. The whole cast is exceptional. John Glover is delightfully sleazy, and Clarence Williams III, absolutely chilling.

 

Noir dialogue to Savor:

 

"Don't touch me!"

"There's something about your face that makes me want to slap the shit out of it!"

post #42 of 172

John Glover owns that movie.  He's frequently the highlight of anything that he's in, but he really gets to shine in that one.

post #43 of 172
Thread Starter 

2. JACKIE BROWN - Kim Morgan's article touched on how brilliant Pam Grier is (my favorite performance of past 20 years? I think so) in this, but Sam Jackson is also so amazing. He's playing to perfection what would've been the Richard Widmark part in the late 40's - 50's. Almost every performance in this has layers which makes revisiting such a treat. (this time out I really appreciated how good Keaton is)

 

De Niro is one of the great Noir fuck ups. Would you call Fonda a fatale? She's a bitch to the point of being erotic.

 

This movie is extremely tense, but it is its pitch black humor that makes it. I can't think of a funnier Noir.

 

Noir dialogue to Savor:

 

"What the fuck happened to you, man? Shit, your ass used to be beautiful!"


Edited by Fat Elvis - 11/3/16 at 7:01pm
post #44 of 172

Started off with maybe THE prototypical noir:

1) OUT OF THE PAST (1947)

 

Remarkable, like a textbook on noir. The acting, direction, story and lighting are all pretty much the premier examples of the form. I'm downright embarrassed it took me this long to see this. Jane Greer . . . My goodness. A perfect noir film, and the perfect way to start the month.

In order of preference:

1) Out of the Past (there's a good chance this will stay here)

post #45 of 172
Thread Starter 
post #46 of 172
Thread Starter 

JACKIE BROWN: the film with QT's most inspired needle drops.

post #47 of 172
I love JACKIE BROWN, but if that qualifies as "noir," then "noir" means nothing.
post #48 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

Started off with maybe THE prototypical noir:

1) OUT OF THE PAST (1947)

 

Remarkable, like a textbook on noir. The acting, direction, story and lighting are all pretty much the premier examples of the form. I'm downright embarrassed it took me this long to see this. Jane Greer . . . My goodness. A perfect noir film, and the perfect way to start the month.

In order of preference:

1) Out of the Past (there's a good chance this will stay here)

 

"Neither do I, baby, but I have to I'm gonna die last." 

Jane Greer walking into the bar for the first time is one of those film images that is burned onto my brain.

post #49 of 172

It's a scientific fact that The Hot Spot is the best film noir made since the fifties, they proved it at CERN last year. If someone hasn't seen it I urge you to track it down. It's wonderful.

post #50 of 172
Just kicked off with..

1. 8 Million Ways to Die

First time..Heard about it here first a few months back, thanks again guys...

This opening James Newton Howard score has me hooked
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