Thursday, January 22, 2004

"Baby, I don't care."

Film Noir-
Literally: "Black Film"; describes a genre of film which typically features dark, brooding characters, corruption, detectives, and the seedy side of the big city.
-The Internet Movie Database

I just finished two book written by Eddie Muller; Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir and Dark City Dames: The Wicked Women of Film Noir. The first book is a history and critic of Film Noir. The second is a collection of interviews and short biographies of six women actors; Coleen Gray, Jane Greer, Evelyn Keyes, Ann Savage, Audrey Totter, and Marie Windsor, who are now considered "Queens of Film Noir." Women who's acting style made the characters they played unforgettable, turning those movies into film noir classics.

I first saw these movies on television and was fascinated by them. The "grownup" feel of the stories. The way the women (nothing like the women being portrayed on network television shows) were as tough men. And the look of them. Always shot in black and white but in a way that made them richer in color than color could ever be. They were mesmerizing for me.

Some of my favorites are, Double Indemnity, Out of the Past, The Killing, The Asphalt Jungle, and The Big Heat. Then there there are the ones I've heard about but not seen, The Big Steal, Gun Crazy, The Set-Up, and many more. A few are on DVD and more are coming out so, hopefully, I will be able to see them all.

I've searched the Internet for film noir sites and have found a few that I liked. One online magazine, Images has an article about film noir with a list of their top ten noir movie picks, Ten Shades of Noir. At FilmClassics the following articles are interesting, High Heels on Wet Pavement, Two From Siodmark, Style, Out of the Past, Film Noir; an interview with Ann Savage, and With Kubrick; an interview with Marie Windsor about Stanley Kubrick.

Kathie Moffett: I didn't know what I was doing. I, I didn't know anything except how much I hated him. But I didn't take anything. I didn't, Jeff. Don't you believe me?
Jeff Bailey: Baby, I don't care.

-Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past

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