Tue, 16 August 2011
A product of Clute and Edwards' longstanding fascination with film noir and hard-boiled literature, this podcast investigates how certain mid-century visual and storytelling conventions evolved into Rockstar Games/Team Bondi's new video game L.A. NOIRE. To some degree, noir and hard-boiled themselves evolved from a 19th-century literary tradition that involved contests of deduction and linear modes of problem-solving (a tradition established by Edgar Allan Poe), but in the wake of two world wars and other evidence of the havoc wreaked by modern "progress" those storytelling traditions evolved into something darker and more nuanced—something that offered less certain outcomes. L.A NOIRE plays on both traditions: it is linear and problem-based in its narrative structure, yet its underlying worldview is as brooding and morally ambiguous as the finest films noir and hard-boiled novels. Like all great digital works it is a mashup that weaves together swaths of historical events and pop culture yarns, and the result is a vast tapestry of noir at once familiar and altogether unique.