Help Us Spread the Word:



All Things Noir by Clute and Edwards:

Want more? Visit Noircast.net for the latest blogs, podcasts, and projects from Clute and Edwards!

Subscribe to Out of the Past:

To get our most recent blogs, projects, and podcasts, please subscribe to our RSS feed located at Noircast.net

-or-

Click here to subscribe to these podcasts through iTunes

Why We Have a PayPal Button:

Out of the Past is a free podcast. However, it costs money every month to host the podcast and make it available for downloading. Donations go to the cost of hosting. Click on the PayPal button below to make a donation. Thanks for your support.

Bookmark this Website:



Search Episodes (By Year and Month):

Or simply scroll down this page. All episodes are listed in reverse chronological order. You will find our earliest episodes at the bottom of this page.

July
February

November
October
August
July
June

October

November
August

December
August
June
April
March
February
January

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

December
November
October
September
June
May
April
March
February
January

December
November
October
September
August
July

April 2014
S M T W T F S
     
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30

Looking for Something?:

Search Site by Category:
podcasts
Movies
general
Video Podcast
podcast
Recently, several Hollywood films, including HOLLYWOODLAND, have revisited traumatic events of the 1940's and 1950's. This new film cycle begs several questions--chief among them, why do the malaise and murder of the postwar years resonate with filmmakers today, and do these films share characteristics that allow us to speak of an emerging film style? Clute and Edwards maintain there are significant differences lurking behind the apparent similarities, and such differences call for more nuanced terminology than the blanket moniker "neo-noir." They propose the tripartite nomenclature of noir-style, neo-noir, and faux-noir, and argue that HOLLYWOODLAND is a superlative example of neo-noir: it tells a throw-back, hard-boiled tale in a new visual style. While Allen Coulter's direction is key to crafting this new look of noir, the acting of a strong ensemble cast is crucial to conveying the heartache caused by the suspicious death of actor George Reeves--TV's Superman. A must-see film for casual fans of classic noir, and serious students of its evolution. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Direct download: OOTP_2007_03_01_H.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:06 AM
Comments[9]

  • Apologies if my above comment came on a little strong; as I\'ve stated elsewhere I\'ve greatly enjoyed your podcasts for the most part and I\'m certainly not deliberately looking to find inconsistencies. I\'m just a little concerned that you and your co-host sometimes have the habit of stating your opinions as if they are hard fact and that listeners discovering \"Noir\" for the first time through this series may be mislead. Whilst I agree that films of this type are difficult to classify as the term was applied retrospectively, it should be remembered that Nino Frank was in fact talking about \"Hard-Boiled\" plotting when he coined the phrase \"Film Noir\" and not their expressionistic visual style - as such the idea that there were \"Noir Dramas\", \"Noir Westerns\" and \"Noir Musicals\" is not entirely true, nor is the claim that the terms \"Hard Boiled\" and \"Noir\" have been confused over the years (I\'m talking here strictly about cinema BTW, not literature where I agree, the term is now often mis-applied). Therefore I believe that movies like \"Hollywoodland\" and \"The Black Dahlia\" are both true Noirs\'; their individual qualities are another matter altogether though. Regards, Steve.

    posted by: Steve Taylor on 2008-05-04 14:28:00

  • It\\\'s great that you guys will give time to some recent film, but I think \\\'Hollywoodland\\\' and \\\'Black Dahlia\\\' are two weak picks. They did not seem to be Film Noir, and not very good films. I would think L.A. Confidential was a good attempt at neo-noir, in the vain, were the above two films missed. Interestingly, I have heard people mention \\\'Silence of the Lambs\\\' as noir? It might be a stretch. How about foreign noir like \\\'High and Low\\\' and \\\'Stray dogs\\\'. Or all those recent Honk Kong films everyone loves. Cool Show .

    posted by: Harry Lime on 2008-05-10 21:17:00

  • I love the after-movie discussions. There are all sort of things I never noticed but somebody else did!

    posted by: London Virtual Office on 2008-01-07 16:45:00

  • So let me get this straight; you\'re saying Film-Noir isn\'t a set of thematics but a visual style, yet [i]The Third Man[/i] doesn\'t qualify as a Noir due to it lacking the necassary characters and plot elements? Yeah, that makes sense......

    posted by: steve Taylor on 2008-05-02 10:21:00

  • I can tell our discussion of The Third Man has got your investigating all of our episodes for inconsistencies, but I am not clear what you are objecting to in Hollywoodland. We have never made an either/or statement on defining film noir. I think all attempts to define noir end up closing down its power for storytelling. At the end of the day, for all our talk about theme, style, and text, these are simply my favorite films to watch. They are crackerjack films with great thrills that are not just intellectual pleasures, but pure pleasures for the mind, body and soul. The nature of our discussions--in my mind--has been exploratory, we want to set aside existing definitions and constraints on film noir, as we go back and watch how the films make those ideas manifest through the great art form of the major motion picture. There is no doubt in my mind that by the time Hollywoodland is made, that \"noir\" is a commodity style, that can be deployed as style for style\'s sake or that can be used by filmmakers as an opening into terrific thematic complexity. What I think differentiates Hollywoodland from a bunch of lesser neo-noirs is its thematic complexity and the quality of its acting and the nature of its screenplay. It\'s a great way to approach a throwback era, unlike the mess De Palma made with Black Dahlia. So, I am sorry, Steve, that our provocative analysis of Third Man has you concerned that we are making little sense in latter episodes, but I hope you appreciate that we aren\'t trying to establish a new canon, nor are we saying that we don\'t like the Third Man. It is one of my all-time favorite films and the last 1/3 of the film is some of my favorite Welles screen time ever! And Orson Welles is my favorite director of all time, and I adore the literature of Graham Greene. But I think Shannon made me consider some of the issues raised by the film and his opening up the question of the film\'s status as noir icon, I find quite thought provoking. Best, Rich Co-Host: Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir

    posted by: Richard Edwards on 2008-05-02 10:31:00

  • Dear Clute & Edwards, Thanks for pointing me in the right direction toward posting for discussion. I’m not a graduate of film school, nor a serious student of anything in particular, so I shall lack most of the jargon and all of the critical acumen you display vis-à-vis colour palettes, use of light and shadow, etc. Those things tend to pass over my head subliminally as I suppose the Director intends they should. It’s not until you reveal the magician’s tricks that I realise the subtlety, art and depth of planning that goes into even the briefest of scenes. But although I’m learning to appreciate THE WAY these tales are told it is the tales themselves that are attracting me. I’m surprised to find how ready I am to empathise with and enjoy stories about protagonists who are often borderline socio-paths led (or torn?) by self-interest, or else driven by what David Corbett described as, “the back-story wound?. Thus I’m fascinated by your notion that the upsurge of interest in this genre suggests that contemporary society as a whole shares this readiness, due to a similar cultural climate to that of the war-traumatised late forties which spawned it. Are things really as bleak as that now? I enjoyed hearing about \\\"Hollywoodland\\\" and will certainly add it to my collection when it is released here in England. I wholeheartedly agree that, “Truth, Justice and the American Way? would’ve been a better, grittier title more in keeping with the cynicism of the genre and I think that’s the key to the neo-noirs of the mid 2000`s. Since 2000 (1997 here in the UK) we’ve all heard so much lying, spinning, dis-information and out-and-out B.S. come down from above that we no longer believe anything we’re told and suspect any and all motives. We’ve become so cynical that noir feels right. It feels like the norm. Its sentiment is relevant again. Then again, maybe that’s just me. Lastly, I just want to say thank you for switching me on to Megan Abbott. I’m about a quarter of the way through, “The Song Is You? and I’m enjoying it immensely. When I stumbled across the name Eddie Mannix (page 76) earlier this evening I had to smile: thanks to your podcast I knew who he was! Keep up the good work, Regards, NHT

    posted by: N H Twine on 2007-03-02 16:56:00

  • Guys, i really enjoyed the show. I\\\'m totally unconvinced about this film and it\\\'s noir credentials. Same goes for the other \\\'faux\\\' or phoney noirs out recently. I think it\\\'s not productive to think of Batman in terms of film noir. It\\\'s use of the noir aesthetic is meaningless, empty. The film is so ridiculously contructed, the dialogue so weak, that the use of a visual style alien to the concerns of the picture is incoherent. I think this is something De Palma has struggled with throughout his career: the fella is in love with noir yet so often uses the aesthetic for the most absurd narratives. Bladerunner is a valid neo-noir as it is essentially a social drama, hinged by the PI narrative. the faux-noirs are more concerened with period detail than exploring the noir thematic. Quo Vadis, Baby and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang are other neo-noirs worthy of the tag and show that noir isn\\\'t tied to a perios, but rather, an approach. They also illustrate - as does Hodges\\\' Croupier - that for the neo-noir to funstion successfully, it must embrace the modern world, not reject it. Hodges\\\' other film that\\\'s dragged kicking and screaming into the noir fold is I\\\'ll Sleep When i\\\'m Dead. However, this essentially anachranistic film seems out of place and out of time. It shuts the real word out in a very limited way. Films such as Klute or Twilight are open to the randomeness of the present, not the containment of the past, and are richer because of it. The Black Dahlia and Hollywoodland, i think, are attempting not only to steal the inherent glamour of the time but also some of the significance the medium enjoyed during the period. Film as a cultural pressure point meant a lot more then than it does now. These films try to imbue themselves in this, lazily, without making the effort of producing a noteworthy film on its own terms. Saying that, Hollywoodland is pretty enjoyable and Brody is a good PI. Clive Owen as Chandler? His American accent in Sin City was shockingly bad, so i hope he puts the work in with the dialogue coach. What do you guys think of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. along with Brick, i thought this one of the most enjoyable and playful noirs of recent years. Downey Jnr is a passable Holden. nice work, Paolo

    posted by: Paolo on 2007-03-04 14:20:00

  • Having re-watched Hollywoodland, i think i appreciate it a little more. I think Adrien Brody does a great job as a a PI, perfectly framing the essential seediness and exploitative nature of the profession in a way that the overbearing machismo of Ralph Meeker or elegant cool of Robert Mitchum tends to occlude. This is a job for an outcast. PI\\\'s aren\\\'t losers, just men who tend not to win. Too smart for the average Joe, but not quite smart enough to make anything of themselves. Brody does this well. What really impressed me was the fluency with which Coulter moved from the past to the present. It reminded me of John Sayle\\\'s Lone Star in this way. The overall design of the film (visual and audio) is impeccable and maybe a little too clean for my tastes. The sheen of the film and the boxy performance of Afleck kind of sanitised-and in a way glamourised-the depravity with which these lives were led. Not to say that Afleck was bad. In fact, i think he was very convincing. However, he is a very polished performer and found it hard, i think, to show Reeves\\\' internal conflicts, which are stated rather than shown. To be fair, i think it\\\'s hard to feel sympathy for Reeves\\\' predicament: he\\\'s solvent financially, scoring with plenty of dames, has a good career and lives in Hollywood. I think it would take an actor of more extraordinary talent than Ben to pull off a tragic hero out of the film. Still, he\\\'s particularly good on set as Superman. This is one of the better modern noirs that i have seen. Shouldn\\\'t a true \\\'neo-noir\\\' be set today? The problem with noir today is that it\\\'s either over stylised or approaches it from an ironic distance. Which, is fine, and done very well (Kiss-Kiss Bang-Bang. Brick). The world has never been seedier, more voyeuristic or corrupt: you\\\'d think the film industry would be awash with neo-noir. best, P

    posted by: Paolo on 2007-03-19 18:49:00

  • Just recently discovered your wonderful podcasts and I\'m still catching up. Hollywoodland is one of my favorite movies, but I agree neo-noir doesn\\\'t seem to fit. It seems to be more of a retro-noir, to my mind.

    posted by: Jen Doe on 2007-07-12 21:39:00

Post your comment:

Name

E-mail (will not be published)

Website

Your Comment



Please do not click submit more than once.