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Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006)

Film Noir burrows into the mind; it's disorienting, intriguing and enthralling. Noir brings us into a gritty underworld of lush morbidity, providing intimate peeks at its tough, scheming ... See full summary »

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Film Noir burrows into the mind; it's disorienting, intriguing and enthralling. Noir brings us into a gritty underworld of lush morbidity, providing intimate peeks at its tough, scheming dames, mischievous misfits and flawed men - all caught in the wicked web of a twisted fate. Written by Anonymous

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18 July 2006 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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All-Star Look at Film Noir
22 December 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (200)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Insightful and rather interesting look at the film noirs of the 40s and 50s. A wide range of producers, actors, writers, director and cinematographers are on hand to share their opinions of the genre. Such people include James Ellroy, Henry Rollins, Kim Newman, Syndey Pollack, Frank Miller, Eddie Miller, Glenn Erickson, Paul Schrader, Carol Littleton, Eric Lax, Christopher Nolan, Drew Casper, Talia Shire, Audrey Totter and Michael Madsen. The documentary is broken down into several different sections with each one taking a look at different subjects or styles. The thing that kicks off is what actually is a film noir. The various people give their opinions on what makes a noir and it should come as no shock that opinions are very different. From here we see what is considered the first film noir. Many say Fritz Lang's M was the first noir with others pointing to STRANGERS ON THE 3RD FLOOR. Some even go back to the crime pictures of the 1930s like LITTLE CAESAR. From here we go through various topics like the impact WWII had on the genre, the importance of cigarettes in terms of a visual as well as sexuality and we talk about the lighting and how flashbacks were used. If you're a fan of the genre then you're going to have a good time hearing all these stories and different opinions. For the most part just about everything you'd want to know is covered but it's mostly the MGM/Warner/RKO noirs that are discussed. The film goes through many different topics and never feels too long. Titles discussed include BORN TO KILL, CLASH BY NIGHT, THE NARROW MARGIN, CRIME WAVE, ON DANGEROUS GROUND, HIS KIND OF WOMAN, OUT OF THE PAST, THE MALTESE FALCON, MURDER MY SWEET, THEY LIVE BY NIGHT and several others. Film critic Newman even talks about those Val Lewton horror movies from RKO and why they should be considered noir. Overall, this is a very impressive look at the genre and if you're unfamiliar with the films then it gives you a great number of titles to check out.


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