Tag Archives: Noir

Altered Carbon: Resleeved [2020]

Russel Gray described Blade Runner as “bootlegging” energy from science fiction to revitalise the moribund genre of the hard-boiled detective. It’s been a decade since I read the paper, which isn’t available where I’m riding out the apocalypse, but the … Continue reading

Posted in Criticism, Film, The Mystery-Investigation Complex | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Under the Silver Lake [2018]

By far the most interesting film I saw at NZIFF 2019 was this one. It’s impossible to really get to grips with why that’s the case without spoilers but this is a special case, where the people who’ll like this … Continue reading

Posted in Film, The Mystery-Investigation Complex | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line [2014]

Veronica Mars should need only the scantest introduction. A complex show that navigated between teen drama and more-than-averagely-tough hard-boiled detection, usually managing to juggle two separate episodic mysteries as well as a season-long arc. Aside from anything else, Veronica Mars … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, The Mystery-Investigation Complex | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Simple Art of Melancholy

The question of just what “Film Noir” is has plagued discussions of the genre since its retrospective creation by French critics in the 1950s and 1960s. As the term pertains to “Hard Boiled” detectives, whose presence was a clear signifier … Continue reading

Posted in Criticism, The Mystery-Investigation Complex | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Goldstone [2016]

This is a tidy little noir set in a gold-mining town in Queensland. It is quite conventional, in that it has most of the classic plot points and character archetypes. It is beautifully shot, well-acted, well-scripted, with an evocative score, … Continue reading

Posted in Film, The Mystery-Investigation Complex | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Veronica Mars Movie [2014]

The best detective fiction often has a pair of crimes in parallel – one in the present caused by one in the future. To solve the present, you must excavate the past. This can take a range of forms, so … Continue reading

Posted in Film, The Mystery-Investigation Complex | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Inherent Vice [2014]

The screening I attended for this was sparsely populated. I think a lot of people have watched the excruciating trailer and been uninspired. I was uninspired myself, but a major release of a throw-back detective film was too close to … Continue reading

Posted in Film, The Mystery-Investigation Complex | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

B is for Burglar [1986]

One of the most common critiques of hard-boiled detective fiction is that it is highly masculine. The reasons for that are as complex and inexorable as the male domination of other genres, and exist on manifold layers. In the first … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, The Mystery-Investigation Complex | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Clandestine [1980]

James Ellroy’s novels defy easy classification. There are a few early novels that fit nicely in a pigeon hole – the Lloyd Hopkins novels are serial killer procedurals, Brown’s Requiem is essentially “just” a hard-boiled detective yarn. But it’s not … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, The Mystery-Investigation Complex | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Criminal and Detective?

The ambivalence inherent in Noir leads to darker and darker criminal visions. There is a grim nihilism at the heart of works like They Shoot Horses, Don’t They or The Postman Always Rings Twice, but in some ways the characters are … Continue reading

Posted in Criticism, Television, The Mystery-Investigation Complex | Tagged , | Leave a comment