straight down the line

Noir Readings and Reflections

After going through the three readings that will be mentioned later on in this blog post, I now can confidently say that I have an understanding of the style of Noir.

Among the pieces, I have read The Postman Always Rings Twice, Chinatown and then my personal favorite, The Shadow, a script for the Death Triangle episode. I will discuss each reading further into this blog post, but for now I will recap some of the similar elements that I have found in each piece. The first and most obvious characteristic (in my opinion) that I have noticed was how each story involved some sort of crime, and surprisingly each crime involved murder. Murder is such a dark kind of topic from my perspective and it really fills in my logic towards the usage of “Noir”, which means “Black” in French. Black is the darkest shade and evidently the topics in each reading have been very dark and twisted, therefore I can declare from my own knowledge that there is a very strong correlation in my theory that Noir is meant to be mysteriously twisted.

I really enjoyed reading each piece towards the end because each story had a crazy plot twist. I really have an appreciation for plot twists that blow my current anticipations out of the water. The Postman Always Rings Twice had a plot twist where the local detective cheekily induces Frank and Cora to testify against each other to find out the truth of Nick’s death. Chinatown later revealed the mysterious blonde whom Gittes pursued was not only a daughter to Evelyn, but also her sister due to incest. I definitely did not see that coming! Lastly, The Shadow utilized a plot twist where Corvet was not the potential murderer at all while Dubrille and Martan were secretly plotting Dr. Evans Death. These three readings tell me that changes in an unsuspecting directions are a key necessity for a solid Noir piece of writing.

A reoccurring writing style that I have also found was the repeated use of dialect among all three stories. The dialect from what I believe is used in each reading reminds me of an older time where people carried a classy/gangster kind of mixed forms. That is the kind of tone that I have received while reading the texts. Each text also delivered a mysterious feeling to some of the main characters where I had no clue what to think of each person. When I say this, I mean that could not trust some of the characters because they could have struck me as either a good guy or a bad one. Needless to say, suspense is big in this kind of writing. In my opinion, of course, these texts had a depressive theme to them, where ultimately death is expected in a pessimistic, yet realistic manner.

In the end, I continue to support my own idea that Noir style writing incorporates a dark environment with many twists on the way to an odd ending. The mysterious plots within each plot makes it difficult for myself to create a solid conclusion of what truly makes something Noir as each scenario is unique, but I can honestly say now that Noir definitely contains the reoccurring traits that I have previously mentioned.


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