The Pocket Essential Film Soleil [Secure eReader]
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eBook by D. K. Holm
eBook Category: Sports/Entertainment/Sports/Entertainment
eBook Description: If traditional film noir is a genre of mid-century black and white urban crime thrillers evoking an expressionist mood with its dark corners and back alleys, with its trench coats and shadows slanting through Venetian blinds in dusty offices where the scent of death hangs in a plume of coiling cigarette smoke and where mysterious women with golden hair and stiletto heels plead their case to a P.I. fighting inner demons, then film soleil is its modern or late-century reconfiguration, adapted to modern tastes and exploiting technical inovations, using as its most common setting dry sun-beaten highways that cut mercilessly through a parched, sagebrush-filled desert, its women in cowboy boots and jeans and the men deranged by their biological drives. The string of late century sunlit crime films officially began in 1984 with the release of Blood Simple, and soon included Kill Me Again (1989), After Dark, My Sweet (1990), and One False Move (1992), heralding the arrival of a new cinematic style that, unlike traditional noir, sometimes celebrated evil, rewarded greed, and in general indicated significant moral shifts in the culture.
eBook Publisher: Pocket Essentials/Pocket Essentials
Fictionwise Release Date: January 2007
Do genres really change? Can they evolve, mutate, and even
improve? And if so, when and how? Do we, as consumers
really want genres to change? Or are we more delighted by
variations within a stable template? And at what point, after
a genre has changed, do we give in and admit that what we
are dealing with is a wholly new genre, with its own
formulae, conventions, prejudices, and viewer expectations?
Take the musical. Speaking in broad strokes, its evolution
is based partly on technological changes, and partly on shifts
in pop culture tastes. Stage musicals had been adapted even
to the silent screen, but with the advent of sound, initially
movie musicals were mostly set within the musical theater
world. Reflecting a movement toward realism found in the
theater, movie musicals makers in the 1950s began to set
their films in non-musical settings and tell serious stories, as
seen as early as Showboat and later in West Side Story.With the
rise of youth culture in the mid-1950s,musicals began a shift
toward pop tunes and live concert performances. By the end
of the century weird hybrids such as Moulin Rouge were
perfectly acceptable and understandable to both fans of
movies and of musicals.
Hollywood movie comedy also has a complex history.
Again, in reductive terms, its evolution can be traced from
highly visual slapstick in the silent era to verbal ?screwball? wit with the advent of sound, then to the dominance of
youth culture during the mid-century war years, as manifested
in the partnerships of Abbott and Costello, the Three
Stooges, Martin and Lewis, then shifting to the rise of
sketch-comedy-based movies targeted to specific demographics,
usually based on stories from the magazine National
Lampoon or characters and stars from Saturday Night Live.
The fate of the western is the worst of all. Once arguably
the American movie genre, the one in which Hollywood
could talk to Americans about their shared history, the
western could manifest itself simultaneously in both lowgrade
actioners and prestige productions without harming
the essence of the genre itself. In fact, the western became so
popular in the 1950s that prime time television was inundated
with programs (Cheyenne, Sugarfoot), most of them
from Warner Bros. studios. So many, in fact, that it was as if
the American public became so surfeited on the genre that
in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s viewers couldn't bear to
expose themselves to it anymore.Worse, younger audiences
appeared to have little interest in the western, to the point
that what once was traditionally thought of, throughout the
20th Century, as America?s premiere genre could barely be
said to exist at the start of the 21st Century.
That is certainly the problem facing fans of film noir from
the 1970s on. Had noir evolved into a new genre? Since
?true? film noir, that is black and white crime films, ended,
officially or not, in 1958, can so-called film noirs made after
that time frame be anything but pastiches, homage, or parodies?