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B Noir Detour

Allotment Wives: for Kay Francis lovers

In The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir, founding noir critic Foster Hirsch opines that good noir is ruined when it becomes political and tries to bear a specific social message. Darkness, anxiety, corruption, crime, and inexorable fate are noir's territory,... Continue Reading →

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Pépé le Moko

The more I watch and study film noir, the deeper and more interesting the rabbit trail gets. There are so many loops and turns and connections to history, culture, politics, and artforms. I have been exploring the World War II... Continue Reading →

Smash-Up…or Don’t

I came across Smash-up: The Story of a Woman (1947) while engaging in a combination of research on the Hollywood Blacklist and searching for new films to livetweet on Sunday evenings (via hashtag #BNoirDetour). To fill my HUAC research interests, I... Continue Reading →

Ridin’ the Crime Wave with Gene Nelson

I had such an exciting ride with B noir Crime Wave (DeToth, 1953) the other night. And it wasn't the film itself that made for the exciting twists and turns!  (Frankly, I have to stop being surprised when I discover noir... Continue Reading →

I Survived House of Bamboo (1955)

1950s noir varies wildly from profound to perfunctory to downright pitiful. As the post-WWII period became the Cold War era, noir focus shifted from the personal to the political, the ambiguous to the absolute, and from the antihero to the... Continue Reading →

Discovering The Search (1948)

As a lover of 1940s film and the noir mood in many films throughout the decade, I want to talk about a non-noir film, The Search (1948). There are tangential noir connections, including mood and style. There is the darkness of the... Continue Reading →

Hoodlum (1997)

I'm always looking for noirish films that address issues of gender and race, so when I was scrolling through "free to me" videos via cable, I was happy to find Hoodlum (1997), a picture I hadn't seen and don't even remember... Continue Reading →

Race, Gender, and Bright (2017)

I finally got around to watching the hearty yet heartburn-inducing stew that is Bright (2017). I haven't yet decided the exact proportions of its recipe, but it definitely relies on servings of a number of past films and trends, including the... Continue Reading →

Blast of Silence

I haven't written for a Blogathon in a while, and a focus on 1961 offered a fun challenge: can I find film noir in 1961 America? A quick search brought up a low-budget thriller that I couldn't resist: Blast of Silence. Having... Continue Reading →

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