I had recently just learned about noir and reviewed several versions of it which can be found here. I already had an idea of noir, you know, the black and white sinister style. But I didn’t have much background knowledge of the subject. I knew what most people did, that it was just some genre of movies or something like that filled with Betty Boops and Popeyes. But I was wrong.
Noir is not a genre. It never was. It’s an art style, a result of post-WW2 America. It was a result of Americans seeing the world through different eyes, through much darker eyes. Cynicism and pessimism grew due to the harsh reality of war and many movies and media forms maintained those ideas. The world wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There were criminals, corruption, hate and an overall shadowy theme towards much of American life after the casualties of the second World War.
Noir shows people the things they don’t want to see. It brings forth the things that hide in dark alleys, the skeletons in the closet, the monsters lurking in the shadows. We push these things out of our minds, pretend like they don’t exist but they do. And noir forces them to the front, makes us see what we don’t want to. They aren’t afraid of showing us the iffy subjects, the things we choose not to tell our children.
Because of this, I have a new appreciation for noir. I always just thought of Sin City and said, “Yeah that’s a nice movie.” I went on with my life and didn’t give the movie any thought. But when I had to watch it again, this time academically, I saw what it was showing this time. I saw the corruption, the crime, the back alley deals. And with everything i reviewed I saw something different. I saw things they were trying to say, things that no one else would.
In this sense, noir is no genre. It’s a cultural movement, a fresh take on the things we turn away from, the things that hide in the dark.
This first week of Digital Storytelling was a work out. I already had a few of the accounts that we needed to get but it was still hectic. I was a little skeptical about taking an online class but I’m loving it so far! I can’t wait for the rest of the semester.