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Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is so awesome. It a succeeds in all the ways that Hollywoodland and The Black Dahlia failed (I'm associating these based on similar genre and release dates).

I love the Film Noir genre. I love Neo-noir (assuming that such a genre can exist given that Noir necessarily not "neo," but that's an ontological argument for film scholars to embark upon). But I'm getting off topic...Neo-noir films are often failures. I can think of three successes: Chinatown (the original "Neo-noir"), L.A. Confidential, and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

Other than that, they're terrible. They are unimaginative, lack purpose, and are entirely disconnected with what it means to be a film noir.


It reminds me of Neoclassicism and Jacques-Louis David, actually. David created works that recalled Classicism not only in style and technique, but, most importantly, intention. He wanted to bring back the moral order of Antiquity, more than simply a pattern for his paintings. Other Neoclassicists mimicked Classical sources and style, but lacked the same concern for renewing Classical virtue (aka...they lacked intention).

In one of the best scenes in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Harry is hiding under the pink-haired girl's bed, right before she is killed. The girl gets on the bed, and the man with her sits on the edge, but keeps one foot on the floor. This is a reference to the Production Code and the restrictions facing Hollywood films between 1930 and 1960...one such rule was that if a man and woman were seen on a bed together, one foot had to remain on the floor at all times.

It's homage and referential, but never even approaches tacky parody.

Brilliance.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ultraman
Oct. 18th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC)
brick and dark city are also noir, no?
gailmarie
Oct. 19th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC)
Brick is indeed, and while I didn't like it much, it was definitely different and imaginative, and I give it props for that.

I can't say much about Dark City, as I haven't seen it...but from what I read on IMDb, it looks like it could fit with the basic Noir principles.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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