Friday, January 25, 2008 – Down Dark Streets
Film Noir is one of those after-the-fact genres – first applied to certain Hollywood movies by the French critic Nino Frank in 1946, but no one here knew they were making a specific type of movie at the time. But now we know such films - strange, erotic, ambivalent and cruel, with wet streets and odd angles, the films where it always rains in Los Angeles and the weary and cynical tough guy deals with death and complex situations, where nothing is as it seems and everyone lies. They don't have happy endings. Think of the classics - The Maltese Falcon (set in San Francisco), Shadow of a Doubt, Laura, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, Detour, The Big Sleep (downtown Hollywood and Laurel Canyon), Notorious (set in Rio), Out of the Past, Force of Evil, Gun Crazy, White Heat. They have a certain look.
After four days of rain, Hollywood Boulevard is one big noir set.