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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Film Club: Neo Noir

Hey folks, I am back and with my return comes also the return of Film Club!  For the remaining months of summer (July and August) we will be watching films that fit a theme, that theme is Neo-Noir.  Some of you may be unfamiliar with this sub-genre (some of you may even be unfamiliar with the genre of Film Noir altogether!), so allow me a moment to expalin.

Film Noir, as described by the internet (wikipedia), is as follows:  "Film Noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations.  Hollywood's classical film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s.  Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black and white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography.  Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Great Depression."

Neo-Noir, as also described by the internet (wikipedia), is as follows:  "Neo-noir is a style often seen in modern motion pictures and other forms that prominently utilize elements of film noir, but with updated themes, content, style, visual elements or media that were absent in film noir of the 1940s and 1950s."

Class dismissed.

SO, for the last three weeks of July (17th, 24th, 31st) and the last three weeks of August (14th, 21st, 28th) we will be watching films that fall into the sub-genre of Neo noir.  I sent out an email a few days ago explaining that I have not selected the second two films for July yet, but never fear!  For I have selected the first, and that's all that matters at the moment.  Regardless, here is the planned schedule:

July 17th- Blood Simple
July 24th- TBA
July 31st- TBA

Aug 14th- Fargo
Aug 21st- Chinatown
Aug 28th- LA Confidential

All films will begin at the regular Film Club time of 6:15pm.

Our first film in the Neo noir series is the stunning debut film by the extemely talented Coen brothers:

Blood Simple is a 1984 neo-noir crime film written, directed and produced by Joel and Ethan Coen.  The film's title derives from the Dashiell Hammett novel Red Harvest (1929), in which the term "blood simple" describes the addled, fearful mindset of people after a prolonged immersion in violent situations.  It was the directorial debut of the Coens and the first major film of cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld, who later became a noted director, as well as the feature film debut of Joel Coen's wife Frances McDormand, who subsequently starred in many of his features.

Blood Simple is an excellent example of the updated style found in neo-noir films.  I hope you are able to come out and see this fantastic film!

Here's the trailer:


  1. Suggestions for "older" films: The Naked Kiss (Samuel Fuller, 1965); Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)