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The Noir Night

noirnight The Noir Night

Have you ever lain awake at night and wondered why you like films noir?

In my case I have come to the realisation that is the look of noir that has me hooked. No matter how good a film noir, I feel let down if it doesn’t look noir: the mystery and angst of dark city streets are buried deep within me.

When I was a kid in the early 60s in Sydney, I slept in a room above my parent’s store along a main drag, and if I couldn’t sleep I stared mesmerised at the shafts of light from car headlights flashing across my darkened ceiling, lost in the anguished mysteries that invade your psyche late at night.

My old man had a beat-up pickup truck for the store, which was also the family car. A sister of my mother lived way across the other side of the city, and after visiting her we returned home late at night driving through the glitz of Broadway and Kings Cross, and then on to the darker streets of the inner suburbs, with me sitting out in the truck’s tray and my parents and younger brother in the cab. The moody city streets were mine and each corner and door-way had an immediate mystery to ponder…

4 Comments

  1. Wonderful post. Isak Dinesen said the closest we can come to the dream state in waking life is in a big city at night . . . the great urban noirs chart this territory of dreams, and nightmares, with a magical sort of precision.

  2. Thanks Lloyd. Your response means a lot to me. I have always admired your ability to express such thoughts so eloquently.

  3. Lee

    Cool, evocative post Tony. I like noir because I’ve always been attracted to the dark side of life, so to speak. I was allowed to watch films like Pink Floyd’s the Wall and read Stephen King books at a very young age so I think those experiences on my formative years led to my tastes as an adult. When I came across Double Indemnity on cable TV in my early 20′s, I became a fan of the genre.

  4. Thanks Lee. City streets late at night away from the glitz and the neon are about as monochrome as the real world gets. But yes growing up in the 50s and 60s watching old b&w movies with Bogart and Edward G certainly had me hooked from a young age.

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