Cinder and Smoke

I am fascinated with and fanatical about movies, when you want to take your mind off your mind they are a great resource to have. I don’t know why people are so afraid of black and white movies; they are some of the best. Double Indemnity is one of the hottest movies ever made and it is all done with a bit of suggestion for example the way the camera gazes at Barbara Stanwyck’s ankle as it moves down the stairs.

Film Noir is not about the overt and that is why I love it. The narratives are about crime, corruption and passion, they feature fallen characters driven by greed and lust, they go to a darker side of human nature and are underscored by fatalism and doom. Whilst the protagonists of Noir are almost exclusively male, they are also the home of the Femme Fatale, powerful female’s characters who use their sexuality to drive men to their knees and often to their deaths. Interestingly the Femme Fatale is a reincarnation of the vamp of the silent era who in turn is derived from the vampire (noticing a theme in my interests anyone?). Naturally the Femme Fatale doesn’t have a male counterpart.

Just because a film was made before the joy of Technicolor doesn’t mean you should steer clear, embrace something different, it’s really worth it. Whilst i’m on the subject, don’t be afraid of subtitles either, they are not there to make you look foolish or confuse you, they are there to welcome you into a world language might otherwise bar you from – sometimes I just want to stick on Mean Girls and relax into its familiarity but other times when I’ve got the attention there is nothing better than a bit of Kieslowski or Truffaut.

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