Light emerging from the shadows: Sos staff members share their thoughts on noir

Film noir. What is it? What are its defining characteristics? What films best express its qualities? Sex appeal, violence, cynicism, anti-heroes, femmes fatales, bleak commentary on modern society, maddening twists of fate that perpetuate one’s misery, running away from danger yet never making any ground…noir is and represents a wide variety of things, so much so that film experts do not even agree on whether it is a genre unto itself. (Two of the leading voices, James Ursini and Alain Silver, agree that it represents a movement rather than a definable genre.) For well over two years now, Sound on Sight has hosted the Friday Noir column which, on a near-weekly basis, has covered a great many noir entries of the commonly recognized classic period (1941 to 1959) as well as sizable portion of neo-noirs. Slowly and steadily, the column has explored the extremely exhaustive catalogue of titles with still many to come.
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