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Monday, July 21, 2014

Neo-noir Film #2: Brick

Hey everybody, thanks to all of you who made it out last week for our first neo-noir film, Blood Simple.  This week we will be watching the excellent debut film from Rian Johnson: Brick.

Brick is a 2005 American neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Rian Johnson, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  The film's narrative centers on a hard-boiled detective story that takes place in a Californian suburb.  Most of the main characters are high school students.  The film draws heavily in plot, characterization, and dialogue from hard-boiled classics, especially from Dashiell Hammett.  The origins of Brick were Rian Johnson's Hammett obsession.  Hammett was known for hard-boiled detective novels, and Johnson wanted to make a straightforward American detective story.  He realized that this would result in a mere imitation and set his piece in high school to keep things fresh.  Of the initial writing process he remarked, "it was really amazing how all the archetypes from that detective world slid perfectly over the high school types."

Brick was released to positive reviews.  It currently holds an 80% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, derived from 134 reviews.  Roger Ebert awarded the film 3/4 stars stating, "What is impressive is his commitment to his idea of the movie's style.  He relates to the classic crime novels and movies, he notes the way their mannered dialogue and behavior elevates the characters into archetypes, and he uses the strategy to make his teenagers into hard-boiled guys and dolls.  The actors enter into the spirit; we never catch them winking."

We will be meeting this coming Thursday, July 24th at 6:15pm, hope you can join us!

Here's the trailer:

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