Film noir and film preservation

If we actually lived in a film noir world, there would be a certain futility in trying to preserve a movie. What would be the point? Nothing lasts; everything dies. It’s all hopeless … in a film noir world.

Fortunately the real world differs considerably from how we choose to see it — be it through the eyes of a Fritz Lang or a Walt Disney. That’s also why I remind you (as if anyone who likes movies needs reminding) that in a little over a week the For The Love of Film (Noir) blogathon gets underway. It runs February 14 to 21 and I’ll be taking part by tossing up a few posts. I suspect I’ll be the blogger least informed on the subject but I sort of like that idea.

There’s a nice opportunity to learn more.

I can say this about what makes this blogathon particularly fascinating to me (apart from the film preservation aspect): I’ll find it intriguing to see what some people consider film noir. Like most genre terms, be they applied to movies or something else, there is an aspect of subjectivity that smudges lines and makes things difficult to grasp the more closely you look at them.

I can think of one movie from 2003 that I think of as noir but I want to watch it again and see if I still think so (I need to get the DVD back from a friend). If I still think of it as noir, I’ll be curious to see if anyone else does.

Another movie I’d like to watch and possibly re-do what I wrote a few years ago is Kiss Me Deadly, a movie I absolutely hated when I first watched it. Because I reacted so strongly the first time, in the negative sense, I find it difficult to persuade myself to re-watch. I hope I can because it makes for another interesting question: when cynicism becomes nihilism, is it still film noir or does it become a parody of the genre?

I suppose that depends on how you define noir. Is it mood? Story? Lighting? Direction? Is it just snappy Raymond Chandler-like dialogue and guys wearing fedoras?

I hope we can find out in a little over a week!