Noir More. Please

A man loans me a movie, an old movie, a movie he wants me to watch. A movie about a man and woman, a woman with an attitude, and a man who loves her. I sat in my house and watched the movie, watched the movie like I had to, because I did. My friend would ask me about it, see? Questions I couldn’t answer, see? So I did what I had to, see? I watched it. You dirty rat.

Film noir is definitely its own art form. I didn’t really understand it till I’d watched few of Roberts' movies. He started me off slow, and I was enjoying them for the most part. I got into movies like The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca and Narrow Margin.

I guess I sort of graduated to something meatier. So he lands this one on me. Criss Cross. Apparently the thing about a "really good" film noir is you can't have clear heros or villains. Just lots of flashbacks, smoke and narrations. In order to make a film noir film you need a number of things. While watching Burt Lancaster drinking himself into a drunken stupor I made a list. Here's what I think you need for a good film noir picture.

  • 7 white ties

  • 24 flashback scenes

  • 18 wife beaters

  • 6 close-ups

  • 15 double crosses

  • 245 bottles of booze

  • 1 mastermind

  • 3400 cigarettes

  • 7 bullets from a 6 shooter

  • 4 fistfights
And plenty of poorly written lines. Like this ditty.
“A man eats an apple, and gets a chunk of it stuck between his teeth. He uses a piece of cellophane from his cigarette wrapper to get it out. The cellophane gets stuck too. What’s the use?”
I’m not even sure what it means. I do know that it is required to be delivered wearing a fedora and smoking a cigarette. I think he’s upset about something but I’m not sure.

I should have listened more, I should have cared more, I should have paused the movie when I left the room. I don’t think this style is for me. Either way I’m not sure I can avoid getting another one lent to me after I return this one tomorrow.

Not that I have to tell you, but this movie ended like it started, badly.


J Crew said...

Good observations. I am a huge fan of fedoras and villains. I could go without the chimney smokers and fish drinkers though

kludge said...

Booze and firesticks, are an intrigual part of the stlye. Can't lose them I'm afraid. I have to say there were no tommy guns in this one!

-Am I the only person who messes up the word verification 3 times before I get it right? Man!

J Crew said...

verification is a hard one to get. Yesterday I spelled ergonomics 4 times wrong until I got it right. Some words are just crazy.


Cheesecake on a stick= Booya!!

kludge said...

There was no cheescake in this movie.. just beefcakes, and hotcakes.

J Crew said...

I love hot cakes with syrup and butter.

kludge said...

not that kind of hotcake...