Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Last week we establised most of the tennents that make up Film Noir. This week we are going to talk a little bit about Neo-Noirs.

There are two generations of Film Noir. The first generation was the original Noirs that were shot in from 1940 to 1959. For most critics 1959 is the demarkation point from which the original Noirs, heavily influenced by world events during and after the second world war end. 1960 is where a new type of Noir begins to rise, the Neo-Noir.

At this time film had changed quite radically, no longer was it shot in black and white, a large element in the Film Noir mix, but often in colour. But this wasn't the only change. A number of other elements of Film Noir were being co-opted into other genres of film, such as sci fi (Blade Runner), political thrillers (The Manchurian Canidate), and police dramas (The French Connection). All these neo-noirs have been largely influenced by the Noir style and usually include greater violence, nudity, or harsher themes then the first generation Noirs. Some replaced the old hard-boiled, good/bad detective archtype with other similarily tormented screen protagonists, usually cops.

Arguably the greatest of the Neo-Noirs has been LA Confidential (1997). This movie, taken from the James Ellroy book of the same name, uses the styles of the original noirs as well as making use of neo-noir elements as well. For a list of Neo Noirs check out this site.

No comments: