2 Comments

  1. Krutnik’s volume does sound fascinating, but there is a fine line of differentiation between your own position with some fine lines of regard. I would agree that the film noir is marked by anxiety and the downbeat resolution; heck how many noirs end on a happy note, and of those how many are really memorable in a classic sense? I don’t think you are simplifying the fine line between 40’s melodarma and noir by (rightly) asserting that the lead male is usually and anti-hero in noir and that the female plays a more active role. This is irrefutable. I guess we can use DOUBLE INDEMNITY as one example, but obviously there is a long list that conform to these applications.

    Krutnil makes some telling observations, but I think I would have to read or know even more in a specific sense if I fully buy into his argument. I am suspecting Tony, you are at that same point right now yourself, even with your specific divergences.

    Anyway, fascinating piece here!

  2. Sam, a very welcome elaboration.

    My summary of Krutnik’s position is severe, and more than likely misses important nuances, as pared down his view is pretty elementary. But when originally published in 1991 his aim was a corrective to the then predominant focus in the literature that saw film noir as a response to essentially historical phenomena and not as an outgrowth from the classic movie narrative.

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