Film Noir : Neo-Noir Quest 2

Neo-Noir Quest 2

Some of you will remember my first wave of neo-noir viewings that ran for two years, I have now gathered enough titles to launch a part two. Hopefully there will be something that catches your eye, or conversely steer you away from any stinkers!

All are welcome to indulge thoughts and their own neo-noir viewings as well.

Memento (2000) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10209144/reviews-2212">http://www.imdb.com/board/10209144/reviews-2212
Deep Cover (1992) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10104073/reviews-56">http://www.imdb.com/board/10104073/reviews-56
Hammett (1982) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10085640/reviews-20">http://www.imdb.com/board/10085640/reviews-20
Marlowe (1969) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10064638/reviews-46">http://www.imdb.com/board/10064638/reviews-46
Point Blank (1967) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10062138/reviews-143">http://www.imdb.com/board/10062138/reviews-143
Point of No Return (1993) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10107843/reviews-134">http://www.imdb.com/board/10107843/reviews-134
The Black Dahlia (2006) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10387877/reviews-695">http://www.imdb.com/board/10387877/reviews-695
Thief (1981) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10083190/reviews-118">http://www.imdb.com/board/10083190/reviews-118
Chinatown (1974) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10071315/reviews-503">http://www.imdb.com/board/10071315/reviews-503
Femme Fatale (2002) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10280665/reviews-256">http://www.imdb.com/board/10280665/reviews-256
Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10112857/reviews-59">http://www.imdb.com/board/10112857/reviews-59
Black Widow (1987) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10090738/reviews-54">http://www.imdb.com/board/10090738/reviews-54
Jackie Brown (1997) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10119396/reviews-510">http://www.imdb.com/board/10119396/reviews-510
Ruang talok 69 (1999) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10235154/reviews-21">http://www.imdb.com/board/10235154/reviews-21
Blade Runner (1982) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10083658/reviews-1311">http://www.imdb.com/board/10083658/reviews-1311
Knock Knock (2015) - http://www.imdb.com/board/13605418/reviews-327">http://www.imdb.com/board/13605418/reviews-327
The Hot Spot (1990) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10099797/reviews-78">http://www.imdb.com/board/10099797/reviews-78
Cold in July (2014) - http://www.imdb.com/board/11179031/reviews-112">http://www.imdb.com/board/11179031/reviews-112
Guncrazy (1992) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10104377/reviews-26">http://www.imdb.com/board/10104377/reviews-26
Rush (1991) - http://www.imdb.com/board/10102820/reviews-35">http://www.imdb.com/board/10102820/reviews-35


Latest Film Reviewed In Seperate Post Below

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Neo-Noir Quest 2: Hammett (1982)

Hammett (1982)


She's a disaster.

Hammett is a fictional story about the great writer Dashiell Hammett (played by Frederic Forrest). The story finds the writer retired from the Pinkerton Detectice Agency and nursing bad lungs and a taste for the liquor. When old colleague Jimmy Ryan (Peter Boyle) comes a calling, Hammett finds himself down in Frisco's Chinatown district in it up to his neck in muck and grime.

The back story to the production of Hammett is long and disappointing, all of which makes for fascinating reading and available at the click of a mouse. The film we have to view now may not be the one originally envisaged by director Wim Wenders, but on repeat viewings it shows itself to be a very loving homage to the halcyon days of film noir, a film of great technical craft and guile. Though not without issues either…

Production value is high, the set design that brings late 1920s Frisco to life is a joy, as is Joseph Biroc's luscious colour photography. John Barry provides a musical score that smoothly floats around the Gin Joints and Alleyways, while costuming is on the money. Cast are led superbly by the under valued Forrest, with Marilu Henner (Biroc lights her so well), Boyle and Lydia Lei striking the requisite film noir chords, while a host of cameos and short order roles will have the keen of eye putting names to the faces from similar films of yesteryear.

The story is complex, which is purposely complimented by narration, canted angles, slatted shadows, billowing smoke, and of course a number of venues that all anti-heroic detectives must traverse to unravel the mystery bubbling away under the seamy surface. The problems are evident of course, it's a very uneven picture, the re-writes etc leaving a disappointing mark. It's also like watching a performance at the theatre, akin to watching a play, the predominantly stage bound shoot - and the almost forced delivery of lines - makes it synthetic.

But ultimately there's a lot of noir love here, enough to ensure that repeat viewings for those of that persuasion should find themselves rewarded for their time. 7/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2: Hammett (1982)

Oh, not heard of this one!

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2: Hammett (1982)

Hope you get to catch it at some point.





The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Neo-Noir Quest 2: Hammett / Point Blank

I watched Hammett last year after it was mentioned (probably by you) on these boards. I did have a bit of a problem with the overly hardboiled dialogue and the delivery of the lines which was way oversold resulting in something that bordered on parody. The milieu was too carefully orchestrated to maximize its noirness and the whole thing became tedious. But it actually was a good story, as you noted, sufficiently complicated with interesting characters.

Point Blank is the film that brought noir into the modern world. That great noir city, Los Angeles, is all reflective glass and steel and the gangsters are businessmen in grey suits who hang out with accountants. The film looks great, filmed in beautifully muted colors. The flashbacks and jumps confuse reality and Marvin plays a classic noir character - the lone wolf. You make a good comment on this film not being for everyone - it's not even for every noir fan. It really is a one of a kind movie.

I'm looking forward to your comments on Memento.

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2: Hammett / Point Blank

No, Hammett didn't come from me, this was the first time I had seen it. As for the milieu, it would have been so much different if Coppola had left Wenders version to float, something like 80% of the film was being filmed outside at real locations, instead of the 99% stage bound film we actually have to view now.

Yep, no doubt about it, Point Blank stands on its own, even the haters have a grudging respect for its uniqueness.

My Memento review is up mate, just click on the link in the opening post.

Nice to chat again jg

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Neo-Noir

I can't think of much neo-noir which I've seen. There is Chinatown, which I enjoyed but which I can't recall now. There is L.A. Confidential, which was poor.

Not sure about some Korean thrillers, such as Jakarta and Mother. Do they qualify as neo-noir?

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) and Ellery Queen =

Re: Neo-Noir

I'll be reviewing L.A. Confidential this time around, I love it, 10/10.

Jakarta (2000) - Madeo (2009)

You tell me, do they have noir traits such as fatalism, fatales, interesting photography and camera work?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Neo-Noir (Jakarta, Mother)

Jakarta - starts out with the same bank being held up at the same time by several different groups of people. After about half of the movie is over, the story begins again and this time the viewers see what is REALLY going on. I never did finish Memento, but I heard that Memento follows a similar theme.

Mother - excellent whodunit. Those who study film will likely be more interested in the mother-son relationship. I was watching it as a whodunit only.

Both have good camera work and photography.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) and Ellery Queen =

Marlowe (1969)

Marlowe (1969)


I'm a trained detective!

Marlowe is directed by Paul Bogart and adapted to screenplay by Stirling Silliphant from the novel The Little Sister written by Raymond Chandler. It stars James Garner, Gayle Hunnicut, Carroll O'Connor and Rita Moreno. Music is by Peter Matz and cinematography by William H. Daniels.

Los Angeles private detective Philip Marlow (Garner) is working on what he thinks is a simple missing persons case, how wrong he is!

Q as in Quintessential - U as in Uninhibited - E as in Extrasensory - S as in Subliminal - T as in Toots!

Another of the interpretations for the great Chandler creation of Philip Marlowe, unsurprisingly met with mixed notices - just as all the others have done. You do wonder what Chandler would have made of the role portrayals that came out post his death? I like to think he very much would have enjoyed Garner's take, because this Marlowe is a quip happy wise guy, unflappable and cool, he portrays so much with just a glance, and the girls love him.

The story is juicy in its little complexities, spinning Marlowe into muddy waters the further he investigates things. His life is always under threat, be it by serial ice-pick users or Asian martial artists (Bruce Lee no less in a nutty couple of scenes) wishing to inflict death, or of arrest by an increasingly frustrated police force. Bogart and Daniels keep the whole thing stylish looking, with film noir camera tricks and colour photography infusing the period details. While the supporting cast, notably the ladies, give Garner some splendid support.

It's a different Marlowe for sure, but a thoroughly engaging and entertaining one. 7/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2

Spike, I haven't really watched too much Neo-Noir yet. I'd like to check them out though. But somehow I seem to be unable to let go of the 40's and 50's.

When did you post part one of your list? Do you still have a link to them? Or are they all in different posts in which case posting them again would be asking too much. :)

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2

I have it somewhere, I'll go a mooching for it!

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Neo-Noir Quest 1 in all its glory!

All films have been coined as neo-noir or one of the off-shoots of such in official publications or put forward by noir lovers on the best regarded web sites.

Drive (2011) http://www.imdb.com/board/10780504/reviews-745">http://www.imdb.com/board/10780504/reviews-745
Malice (1993) http://www.imdb.com/board/10107497/reviews-92">http://www.imdb.com/board/10107497/reviews-92
Body Heat (1981) http://www.imdb.com/board/10082089/reviews-152">http://www.imdb.com/board/10082089/reviews-152
Out of Time (2003) http://www.imdb.com/board/10313443/reviews-159">http://www.imdb.com/board/10313443/reviews-159
Sharky's Machine (1981) http://www.imdb.com/board/10083064/reviews-57">http://www.imdb.com/board/10083064/reviews-57
Hustle (1975) http://www.imdb.com/board/10073133/reviews-26">http://www.imdb.com/board/10073133/reviews-26
Best Seller (1987) http://www.imdb.com/board/10092641/reviews-29">http://www.imdb.com/board/10092641/reviews-29
Cop (1988) http://www.imdb.com/board/10092783/reviews-37">http://www.imdb.com/board/10092783/reviews-37
Bad Influence (1990) http://www.imdb.com/board/10099091/reviews-52">http://www.imdb.com/board/10099091/reviews-52
Blood Simple (1984) http://www.imdb.com/board/10086979/reviews-245">http://www.imdb.com/board/10086979/reviews-245
Insomnia (2002) http://www.imdb.com/board/10278504/reviews-653">http://www.imdb.com/board/10278504/reviews-653
One False Move (1992) http://www.imdb.com/board/10102592/reviews-62">http://www.imdb.com/board/10102592/reviews-62
At Close Range (1986) http://www.imdb.com/board/10090670/reviews-79">http://www.imdb.com/board/10090670/reviews-79
A History of Violence (2005) http://www.imdb.com/board/10399146/reviews-1112">http://www.imdb.com/board/10399146/reviews-1112
Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995) http://www.imdb.com/board/10114660/reviews-145">http://www.imdb.com/board/10114660/reviews-145
The Big Easy (1986) http://www.imdb.com/board/10092654/reviews-60">http://www.imdb.com/board/10092654/reviews-60
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) http://www.imdb.com/board/10292963/reviews-277">http://www.imdb.com/board/10292963/reviews-277
Manhunter (1986) http://www.imdb.com/board/10091474/reviews-449">http://www.imdb.com/board/10091474/reviews-449
Heat (1995) http://www.imdb.com/board/10113277/reviews-885">http://www.imdb.com/board/10113277/reviews-885
Narc (2002) http://www.imdb.com/board/10272207/reviews-221">http://www.imdb.com/board/10272207/reviews-221
Madigan (1968) http://www.imdb.com/board/10063256/reviews-42">http://www.imdb.com/board/10063256/reviews-42
Miami Vice (2006) http://www.imdb.com/board/10430357/reviews-997">http://www.imdb.com/board/10430357/reviews-997
The Salton Sea (2002) http://www.imdb.com/board/10235737/reviews-192">http://www.imdb.com/board/10235737/reviews-192
City by the Sea (2002) http://www.imdb.com/board/10269095/reviews-174">http://www.imdb.com/board/10269095/reviews-174
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) http://www.imdb.com/board/10090180/reviews-215">http://www.imdb.com/board/10090180/reviews-215
The Killers (1964) http://www.imdb.com/board/10058262/reviews-66">http://www.imdb.com/board/10058262/reviews-66
Basic Instinct (1992) http://www.imdb.com/board/10103772/reviews-307">http://www.imdb.com/board/10103772/reviews-307
Black Rain (1989) http://www.imdb.com/board/10096933/reviews-113">http://www.imdb.com/board/10096933/reviews-113
Gattaca (1997) http://www.imdb.com/board/10119177/reviews-622">http://www.imdb.com/board/10119177/reviews-622
New Jack City (1991) http://www.imdb.com/board/10102526/reviews-79">http://www.imdb.com/board/10102526/reviews-79
True Romance (1993) http://www.imdb.com/board/10108399/reviews-471">http://www.imdb.com/board/10108399/reviews-471
Red Rock West (1993) http://www.imdb.com/board/10105226/reviews-75">http://www.imdb.com/board/10105226/reviews-75
Romeo Is Bleeding (1993) http://www.imdb.com/board/10107983/reviews-92">http://www.imdb.com/board/10107983/reviews-92
Trance (2013) http://www.imdb.com/board/11924429/reviews-24">http://www.imdb.com/board/11924429/reviews-24
Eastern Promises (2007) http://www.imdb.com/board/10765443/reviews-405">http://www.imdb.com/board/10765443/reviews-405
The Limey (1999) http://www.imdb.com/board/10165854/reviews-245">http://www.imdb.com/board/10165854/reviews-245
Heist (2001) http://www.imdb.com/board/10252503/reviews-275">http://www.imdb.com/board/10252503/reviews-275
D.O.A. (1988) http://www.imdb.com/board/10094933/reviews-45">http://www.imdb.com/board/10094933/reviews-45
No Way Out (1987) http://www.imdb.com/board/10093640/reviews-87">http://www.imdb.com/board/10093640/reviews-87
Kiss of Death (1995) http://www.imdb.com/board/10113552/reviews-60">http://www.imdb.com/board/10113552/reviews-60
The Zodiac (2005) http://www.imdb.com/board/10371739/reviews-52">http://www.imdb.com/board/10371739/reviews-52
Miami Blues (1990) http://www.imdb.com/board/10100143/reviews-51">http://www.imdb.com/board/10100143/reviews-51
Night Moves (1975) http://www.imdb.com/board/10073453/reviews-49">http://www.imdb.com/board/10073453/reviews-49
Dark City (1998) http://www.imdb.com/board/10118929/reviews-653">http://www.imdb.com/board/10118929/reviews-653
The Bedroom Window (1987) http://www.imdb.com/board/10092627/reviews-36">http://www.imdb.com/board/10092627/reviews-36
Liar (1997) http://www.imdb.com/board/10119527/reviews-70">http://www.imdb.com/board/10119527/reviews-70
The Number 23 (2007) http://www.imdb.com/board/10481369/reviews-404">http://www.imdb.com/board/10481369/reviews-404
House of Games (1987) http://www.imdb.com/board/10093223/reviews-110">http://www.imdb.com/board/10093223/reviews-110
Night and the City (1992) http://www.imdb.com/board/10105001/reviews-31">http://www.imdb.com/board/10105001/reviews-31
Mulholland Falls (1996) http://www.imdb.com/board/10117107/reviews-97">http://www.imdb.com/board/10117107/reviews-97
Fear City (1984) http://www.imdb.com/board/10087247/reviews-28">http://www.imdb.com/board/10087247/reviews-28
A Simple Plan (1998) http://www.imdb.com/board/10120324/reviews-438">http://www.imdb.com/board/10120324/reviews-438
Klute (1971) http://www.imdb.com/board/10067309/reviews-103">http://www.imdb.com/board/10067309/reviews-103
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) http://www.imdb.com/board/10373469/reviews-348">http://www.imdb.com/board/10373469/reviews-348
Hard Eight (1996) http://www.imdb.com/board/10119256/reviews-143">http://www.imdb.com/board/10119256/reviews-143
The Driver (1978) http://www.imdb.com/board/10077474/reviews-75">http://www.imdb.com/board/10077474/reviews-75
The Long Goodbye (1973) http://www.imdb.com/board/10070334/reviews-148">http://www.imdb.com/board/10070334/reviews-148
State of Grace (1990) http://www.imdb.com/board/10100685/reviews-119">http://www.imdb.com/board/10100685/reviews-119
Collateral (2004) http://www.imdb.com/board/10369339/reviews-877">http://www.imdb.com/board/10369339/reviews-877
Hana-Bi (1997) http://www.imdb.com/board/10119250/reviews-125">http://www.imdb.com/board/10119250/reviews-125
Internal Affairs (1990) http://www.imdb.com/board/10099850/reviews-70">http://www.imdb.com/board/10099850/reviews-70
The Grifters (1990) http://www.imdb.com/board/10099703/reviews-94">http://www.imdb.com/board/10099703/reviews-94
52 Pick-Up (1986) http://www.imdb.com/board/10090567/reviews-45">http://www.imdb.com/board/10090567/reviews-45
Jennifer Eight (1992) http://www.imdb.com/board/10104549/reviews-58">http://www.imdb.com/board/10104549/reviews-58
Deadfall (2012) http://www.imdb.com/board/11667310/reviews-79">http://www.imdb.com/board/11667310/reviews-79
Johnny Handsome (1989) http://www.imdb.com/board/10097626/reviews-49">http://www.imdb.com/board/10097626/reviews-49
Hickey & Boggs (1972) http://www.imdb.com/board/10068698/reviews-23">http://www.imdb.com/board/10068698/reviews-23
Man on Fire (2004) http://www.imdb.com/board/10328107/reviews-648">http://www.imdb.com/board/10328107/reviews-648
Get Carter (1971) http://www.imdb.com/board/10067128/reviews-187">http://www.imdb.com/board/10067128/reviews-187

So much fun and dark enjoyment, I will partake in a quest part 2


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 1 in all its glory!

Oh wow!!!! Thank you so much! Now I have to go through them all. :)



Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 1 in all its glory!

You're welcome mate. I still have a box load of the oldies still to watch as well, that's always on going as much as the neo years are. It's interesting to compare the original wave with the modern era approach to noir, the influence of those 40s and 50s should never be under estimated, the impact is still being felt today, even in big budget superhero movies!




The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 1 in all its glory!

Thanxxx for that list! Plenty of movies I've not yet seen and spotted some I didn't even know about, hah…

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 1 in all its glory!

Hope you find something that catches your eye.



The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2

Great reviews. Hammett and Deep Cover sound interesting. I think my favourite Neo Noirs will always be Chinatown and LA Confidential.




Go to bed Frank or this is going to get ugly .

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2

Looking forward to revisiting and reviewing both of those this time around. Love 'em both!

Thanks for the kind words mate

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2

Chinatown is good, but I adore LA Confidential. Must re-watch again soon.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Point Blank (1967)

Point Blank (1967)


You're a very bad man, Walker, a very destructive man!

Point Blank is directed by John Boorman and collectively adapted to screenplay by Alexander Jacobs, David Newhouse and Rafe Newhouse from the novel The Hunter written by Richard Stark. It stars Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn, Carroll O'Connor, Lloyd Bochner and Michael Strong. Music is by Johnny Mandel and the Panavision cinematography (in Metrocolor) is by Philip H. Lathrop.

Betrayed by wife and friend during a robbery, Walker (Marvin) is left dying on a stone cold cell floor at closed down Alcatraz

Pure neo-noir, a film that could be argued was ahead of its time, given that it wouldn't find a fan base until many years later. Yet it deserves to be bracketed as a benchmark for the second phase of noir, a shining light of the neo world, experimenting with techniques whilst beating a true film noir heart.

The story is deliciously biting, pumped full of betrayals and double crosses, fatales and revenge, death and destruction. It even has a trick in the tale, ambiguity. It all plays out in a boldly coloured Los Angeles, the photography sparkles as Mandel lays an elegiacal and haunting musical score over the various stages of the drama. The talented Boorman has a field day with the elements of time, shunting various strands of the story around with sequences that at first glance seem out of place, but actually are perfect in context to what is narratively happening, the director gleefully toying with audience expectations. While suffice to say angles are tilted and close ups broadened to further style the pic.

Then there is Walker, a single minded phantom type character, played with grace and menace by Marvin - who better to trawl the Los Angeles underworld with than Marv? This guy only wants what he is owed from the robbery, nothing more, nothing less, but if the meagre reward is not forthcoming, people are going to pay with something more precious than cash. His mission is both heroic and tragic, with Boorman asking the viewers to improvise their thought process about what it all inevitably means. Funding the fuel around Marvin are good players providing slink, sleaze and suspicion.

Deliberate pacing isn't for everyone, neither is stylised violence and stylish directorial trickery, but for those who dine at said tables, Point Blank, and Walker the man, is for you. 9/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Point Blank (1967)

Two days ago I started watching Point Blank and was very rudely interrupted 15 minutes into the movie. Harrumph…

I'll get back to it in the next few days as this film has long been of my must-see list and Lee Marvin is one of my favorite actors.

Thanks for the nice write-up.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Point Blank (1967)


and was very rudely interrupted 15 minutes into the movie

I have a gun you can loan for occasions like that

I'm on a bit of a Marvin kick at the moment as I literally have just finished his biography Point Blank http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00B0SAF3S?keywords=lee%20marvin%20point&qid=1440358528&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1">http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00B0SAF3S?keywords=lee%20marvin%20point&qid=1440358528&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1.

Always been a massive fan of his work, one of the definitive macho presences of his era, and a big player in genres that many of us (yerself included of course) here adore. He very much had a few more strings to his bow than people gave him credit for.

Sit yerself down with Point Blank, turn off the phones, close the curtains and put a nice bottle of wine on ice - then enjoy Marv. His performance will not let you down, the film as a whole? Who knows, it's very divisive…



The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Point Blank (1967)

"I have a gun you can loan for occasions like that"
Can't shoot the husband, it just isn't done.

I finally watched it all and loved it. It's very strange and I can see people disliking it. The film needs several viewings, I think, to take it all in. If someone is used to a movie spelling it all out for him, this one's not it.

The plot is simple enough: Walker (Marvin) and his friend Mal Reese steal a large amount of cash from a gambling operation on the deserted Alcatraz Island prison, but Reese double-crosses Walker, shoots him and leaves him for dead. Walker, not quite as dead as thought, is out for revenge…

This movie is worth watching for Marvin alone. He plays the ultimate macho tough guy and certainly has the looks and physique to carry it off. He beautifully underplays his whole character, his feeling of betrayal, his love for his wife, his hate for the men who cheated him…

Walker is without a doubt the typical tragic Noir hero who bad things just happen to and who desperately tries to understand why they happen to him. Fate sticks its foot out to trip him up and he is completely in the dark as to the motives of the betrayal but he keeps on going because the only way to go is forward, even if it leads him into ruin.
However, the highly stylized and "trippy" composition of the movie is purely 60's.

Point Blank borrows quite heavily from the French New Wave cinema, mostly the unconventional narrative structure of many flashbacks and a fractured time-line that constantly jumps back and forth. These flashbacks are not just there to create a certain mood but they show us the fractured state of Walker's mind and that he is not necessarily coherent and rational. In fact he is anything but.

The big question the viewer is left with in the end is, is the plot reality or only a revenge fantasy? Is Marvin's revenge just a wistful dream he has in the seconds before he dies or is it really happening? Is Marvin's character real or is he just a ghost come back from the dead, an avenging angel of death, the embodiment of a higher abstract vengeance (much like Eastwood in High Plains Drifter). He seems to be like an apparition that can appear out of nowhere in different places.

To me, many things point in that direction. Marvin's character is portrayed as a mythical figure from the moment he fairly easily escapes Alcatraz though he has a few bullets in him. The impossibility of escaping, described by the guide on the tourist boat, is contrasted quite obviously with Marvin's apparent ease of getting away.

Angie Dickinson tells Walker at one point "You really did die on Alcatraz". She does not only mean it figuratively, it is meant literally.

The other conceptual device of the film's direction which points to Marvin being a ghost is that he never kills anyone himself. He is just there when death finally comes to his enemies, he is the catalyst who induces his enemies to kill each other, with Marvin standing by and watching.

In the end he winds up back on Alcatraz, the place where he died in the first place (at least I think that is where they are). He retreats back into the shadows without taking his money.

Edit and PS: How is his autobiography?

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Point Blank (1967)

Super read Jess, shall I forward it to Jimcat?


Can't shoot the husband, it just isn't done.


But you would be a heroine around here, the ultimate femme fatale

So glad you loved it, as you say it's one that tends to take more viewings to really strike a chord, but strike it does.

What I find so striking about Marvin's portrayal of Walker is that he is so cool and calm, even under the clouds of violence, he just oozes charisma yet still be frightening with it (Gibson pulls this off in the remake as well). Marvin is not one you would consider of classic handsome looks (do you agree?), yet he's still sexy here, it's believable that Angie Dickinson would swoon for him.


Point Blank borrows quite heavily from the French New Wave cinema, mostly the unconventional narrative structure of many flashbacks and a fractured time-line that constantly jumps back and forth. These flashbacks are not just there to create a certain mood but they show us the fractured state of Walker's mind and that he is not necessarily coherent and rational. In fact he is anything but.


Yes, agree, and brilliantly put

Hee. I see you are buying into the ghost/dying dream angle… John Boorman was often asked about this over the years, and in fact on one of the commentaries he refuses to answer - Marvin the same.

However >


The other conceptual device of the film's direction which points to Marvin being a ghost is that he never kills anyone himself. He is just there when death finally comes to his enemies, he is the catalyst who induces his enemies to kill each other, with Marvin standing by and watching.


But what of the violence he inflicts? Or the smashing up of the car with the car-lot owner sitting next to him?

It's a peach of a movie and the ambiguity is one of its main strengths, you and I still don't know for sure the truth. It could well be a dream, a vengeful spirit angle, or he is a superman who lived, escaped from Alcatraz and wasn't really after the money, he just wanted to see and prove he could get to the point where his money was delivered. Satisfaction guaranteed with a load of scum-bags delivered to hell in the process.

Point Blank the biog.

The book is great, a little too short for my liking, but very informative and fascinating. The writer is very keen to downplay some of his well know escapades, he doesn't brush over them, it's just a case of Marv did this, it's not good, but he's a lovable rogue - which he was. The best parts are the circumstances with each film he made, what he thought and etc, with that I learned a lot of valuable stuff about something like The Spikes Gang (1974), a film I loved anyway, but now knowing how he approached it makes me love it even more!

Then of course there is the whole Michelle Triola relationship, volatile, while the subsequent (bizarre) court case is totally engrossing. Very much recommended to Marvin fans.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Point Blank (1967)

"Super read Jess, shall I forward it to Jimcat?"
NO. He'll just say it's poor reviewing. I like Jimcat, but he sure can be a grumpy one.:)

"But you would be a heroine around here, the ultimate femme fatale"
Yes, I know but after a while they get onto you, especially if killing husbands becomes a habit. And we all know how that plays out. So I've decided I'll rather be the good-bad-girl.

On a more "serious" note, yes I do buy into the ghost/dreaming angle. It just seems the most plausible explanation to me, which doesn't mean it actually is. About the violence Marvin inflicts, you got me there. I don't have an explanation for that.
Maybe for me the dream angle works because the whole movie has that psychedelic 60's thing going on. Trippy.

You are absolutely correct, the film's main strengths is its ambiguity. Frankly, no watertight case can be made for either interpretation, especially if the director himself refuses to comment.

I'll definitively read the Marvin bio, because YES, that man was sexy. Just like Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Ryan, Richard Boone…

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2

Here is my up to date chronological Neo Noir list of those I've seen:

Blast Of Silence (1961)

Underworld USA (1961)

Something Wild (1961)

Cape Fear (1962)

Experiment In Terror (1962)

Satan in High Heels (1962)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Shock Corridor (1962)

Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)

The Naked Kiss (1964)

The Pawnbroker (1964)

Brainstorm (1965)

Once A Thief (1965)

Harper (1966)

Mr. Buddwing (1966)

In Cold Blood (1967)

In The Heat Of The Night (1967)

Marlowe (1969)

The Honeymoon Killers (1970)

Shaft  (1971)

Across 110th Street (1971)

The Getaway (1971)

Get Carter (1971)

Hickey & Boggs (1972)

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

The Nickel Ride (1974)

The Drowning Pool (1975)

Farewell My Lovely (1975)

Night Moves (1975)

Taxi Driver (1976)

Dressed to Kill (1980)

Union City (1980)

Body Heat (1981)

Thief (1981)

Blade Runner (1982)

Hammett (1982)

Blood Simple (1984)

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

Blue Velvet (1986)

Angel Heart (1987)

Frantic (1988)

Kill Me Again (1989)

The Grifters (1990)

The Kill-Off (1990)

The Hot Spot (1990)

Wild At Heart (1990)

Impulse (1990)

Dick Tracy (1990)

Delicatessen (1991)

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

Romeo Is Bleeding (1993)

True Romance (1993)

The Wrong Man (1993)

The Last Seduction (1994)

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Se7en (1995)

Fargo (1996)

Mulholland Falls (1996)

Hit Me (1996)

Jackie Brown (1997)

L.A. Confidential (1997)

Lost Highway (1997)

This World, Then the Fireworks (1997)

Dark City (1998)

A Simple Plan (1998)

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Payback (1999)

Night Train (1999)

The Man Who Wasnt There (2001)

Mulholland Drive (2001)

Sin City (2005)

No Country For Old Men (2007)

Dark Country (2009)

The Killer Inside Me (2010)

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2

You cutting off the original wave at 1959/1960 I presume. It's always tricky, you probably know me by now in that I say film noir never really stopped being made. The French made some stonking noirs in the 60s, traditional stuff, while Blast of Silence is to me pure first wave noir. Not trying to debate your list, I have 1960s films on my neo lists as well

Of your viewings so far I have not seen, though there are some I have seen but need a second viewing as it has been too long since last watched >


Underworld USA (1961) *
Something Wild (1961)
Satan in High Heels (1962)
The Manchurian Candidate (1962) *
The Naked Kiss (1964) *
The Pawnbroker (1964) *
Brainstorm (1965)
Once A Thief (1965)
Mr. Buddwing (1966)
The Honeymoon Killers (1970)
Across 110th Street (1971)
The Nickel Ride (1974)
The Drowning Pool (1975) *
Farewell My Lovely (1975) *
Union City (1980)
Thief (1981) *
Blue Velvet (1986) *
Kill Me Again (1989)
The Kill-Off (1990)
The Hot Spot (1990) *
Impulse (1990)
The Wrong Man (1993)
The Last Seduction (1994)
Hit Me (1996)
Lost Highway (1997) *
This World, Then the Fireworks (1997)
Night Train (1999)
Mulholland Drive (2001) *
Dark Country (2009)
The Killer Inside Me (2010) *
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)


* Indicates ones I do have in my possession so will get a spin at some point.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2


You cutting off the original wave at 1959/1960 I presume. It's always tricky, you probably know me by now in that I say film noir never really stopped being made. The French made some stonking noirs in the 60s, traditional stuff, while Blast of Silence is to me pure first wave noir. Not trying to debate your list, I have 1960s films on my neo lists as well


I just went with the general Film Noir consensus for the end of Clasic Noir, but I agree in spirit with your thoughts, I'm more visually oriented so I tend give more weight to those films that have the strong noir visual stylistics than films that are NIPOs Noir In Plot Only, they'd have to be really darkly twisted in plot to reach my tipping point, otherwise I just consider them Crime genre and not on my personal Neo Noir list. If they are shot in B&W they get an extra point, watch The Pawnbroker with your Noir shaded glasses on ;-). I seem to remember Lenny (1974) as being noir-ish I'll have to chase it down to see. Shaft (1971) also was surprisingly quite Noir-ish and it's a PI film to boot.

I too have been searching Neo Noirs out using critic lists and other sources and have been both greatly disappointed and happily surprised. The last edition of Film Noir The Encyclopedia lists about 160 Neo Noirs I agreed with about 40 disagreed with 40, have found some that are not even listed, and have been plowing through the rest discovering both gems, flawed efforts, and BS (as a Neo Noir designation), i.e my last three gems were Impulse, To Live And Die In LA and The Hot Spot the flawed films were 8 Million Ways To Die (comes off as too much a message film) The Outfit no Noir buzz (a shame with it's cast), Payback (the original release is great if it just had the original Directors ending it would be a gem) and the experimental Suture the BS as far as a Neo Noir designation were Miami Vice (more a action film, machine guns rarely go with noir) and the remake of Kiss Of Death I didn't get that Noir buzz from that one, but again that's just me.

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2

There are two films which I thought qualified as neo noir which weren't on your list or Spike's…China Moon (1994) and Masquerade (1988). Have you seen either one?

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2

China Moon and Masquerade are both on my Netflix queue

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2

Masquerade (1988)

Don't have this one on my lists so I have added it. I thought Lowe was excellent in Curtis Hanson's under valued neo Bad Influence (1990), so it will be interesting to see Lowe's progression from 88 neo to 90 neo.

He did a comedy in between the two…




The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Neo-Noir Quest 2

Yep, I'm a visual guy as well, with fatalism and pessimism added to seal the deal. I'm very intrigued by The Pawnbroker, often cited as Steiger's best performance, I have hunted it down for that reason. Never seen it enter the neo lists, I don't think, but I'm MORE than happy to stick the noir goggles on for it


I too have been searching Neo Noirs out using critic lists and other sources and have been both greatly disappointed and happily surprised. The last edition of Film Noir The Encyclopedia lists about 160 Neo Noirs I agreed with about 40 disagreed with 40


I'm in the same boat. The FNE lists the Bridget Fonda remake of Nikita, Point of No Return (1993), as a neo. I watched it last night and don't really think it qualifies. There's some identity stuff going on, maybe even as they put forward, some oedipal suggestions at work, but it's really just a good honest action film with a spunky femme at the helm. I'll still add it to the review roster, but I'm not convinced myself.

I'll forward The Hot Spot for a viewing since It's hot topic now. I really like Payback, more so the D/C. Kiss of Death, the remake's screenplay is just too safe, otherwise I think it's got some bite, with Caruso's protag a classic noir character.


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

After Hours (1980s)

Does After Hours (1980s) count? I saw it a few years ago and it struck me as being neo-noir.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen

Re: After Hours (1980s)

Agree about After Hours, it does have that noir-ish feel if I remember correctly, I'll have to check it out again along with Lenny.

Re: After Hours (1980s)

One of my absolute favorite neo-noirs.

The Assassin (1993)

Point of No Return (1993)


New Dawn - New Day - New Life.

Point of No Return (AKA: The Assassin) is directed by John Badham and written by Robert Getchell and Alexander Seros. It stars Bridget Fonda, Gabriel Byrne, Dermot Mulroney, Anne Bancroft and Harvey Keitel. Music is by Hans Zimmer and cinematography (Panavision/Technicolor) by Michael Ferris and Michael Watkins.

When drug addict Maggie Hayward (Fonda) kills a policeman in cold blood, she is promptly sentenced to death by lethal injection. But maybe there is an out? A chance to work for the government?

Why so serious?

A remake of Luc Besson's Nikita (1990), this was always going to suffer the usual remake taunts of why bother? Was it necessary etc? Point of No Return is a good honest action movie, it has style to burn, nifty photography and likable leading actors. The action is well staged and thrilling - and Hong Kongish in style, and bubbling away in the writing are themes of identity, absent parents and a delicately off-kilter oedipal angle. The Nina Simone soundtrack is terrific, while Zimmer works around Nina's songs with an aural assuredness that grabs the attention.

It doesn't push any boundaries, and although it has been noted in some neo-noir circles, it is only a borderline entry in that style of film making. But if kinetic is a good word for you, and ultra violence gives you a shot in the arm, then Bridget and her guns are definitely worth a first date at least. 6/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: The Underneath (1995)

A couple of weeks ago I watched Criss Cross (1949) today I watched The Underneath (1995) it's a good way to compare Noir with bad Neo Noir. It's almost a shot by shot remake with the chronology shuffled about a bit but boy does the story suffer for the tweaks.. The Steve & Anna characters called Mike & Allison in The Underneath are given more of a backstory. In the post feminist world Anna/Allison is more sympathetic its Mike who has done her wrong in the past piling up gamboling debts and skipping in the night when his luck turns.

Steve/Mike's policeman friend is now also his brother. His mother is recently re-married to the armored car company employee who gets Mike the job. It really lacks from these changes and the uninteresting color cinematography. The only bright spot was the Dundee character who had a remarkable resemblance to Classic Noir actor Dane Clark. For me its a Crime film that's a NIPO, Noir In Plot Only. 6/10

Re: The Underneath (1995)

I saw The Underneath and was completely underwhelmed. It comes nowhere near the original, though I suppose for those who have never seen CC, it might be a passable crime drama.

Re: The Underneath (1995)

It does have some low light dark shots in some short sequences but they are just a pittance and not enough to offset the script changes.

Re: The Underneath (1995)

"NIPO, Noir In Plot Only."
On an unrelated note to the film I like that phrase which of course describes Neo-Noir best.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: The Underneath (1995)


"NIPO, Noir In Plot Only."
On an unrelated note to the film I like that phrase which of course describes Neo-Noir best.


Well Jess, I'm very visually oriented the so called Neo Noir would have to be extremely twisted to off set it's lack of Noir stylistics. That said these below are either nicely visually styled and twisted, or extremely twisted in a good enough way to make my list. .

The True NEO-NOIR LIST (a chronological film list (a work in progress) I just added Blink (1994))

Blast Of Silence (1961)

Underworld USA (1961)

Something Wild (1961)

Cape Fear (1962)

Experiment In Terror (1962)

Satan in High Heels (1962)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Shock Corridor (1962)

Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)

The Naked Kiss (1964)

The Pawnbroker (1964)

Brainstorm (1965)

Once A Thief (1965)

Harper (1966)

Mr. Buddwing (1966)

In Cold Blood (1967)

In The Heat Of The Night (1967)

Marlowe (1969)

The Honeymoon Killers (1970)

Shaft (1971)

Across 110th Street (1971)

The Getaway (1971)

Get Carter (1971)

Hickey & Boggs (1972)

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

The Nickel Ride (1974)

The Drowning Pool (1975)

Farewell My Lovely (1975)

Night Moves (1975)

Taxi Driver (1976)

Dressed to Kill (1980)

Union City (1980)

Body Heat (1981)

Thief (1981)

Blade Runner (1982)

Hammett (1982)

Blood Simple (1984)

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

Blue Velvet (1986)

Angel Heart (1987)

Frantic (1988)

Kill Me Again (1989)

The Grifters (1990)

The Kill-Off (1990)

The Hot Spot (1990)

Wild At Heart (1990)

Impulse (1990)

Dick Tracy (1990)

Delicatessen (1991)

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

Romeo Is Bleeding (1993)

True Romance (1993)

The Wrong Man (1993)

The Last Seduction (1994)

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Blink (1994)

Se7en (1995)

Fargo (1996)

Mulholland Falls (1996)

Hit Me (1996)

Jackie Brown (1997)

L.A. Confidential (1997)

Lost Highway (1997)

This World, Then the Fireworks (1997)

Dark City (1998)

A Simple Plan (1998)

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Payback (1999)

Night Train (1999)

The Man Who Wasnt There (2001)

Mulholland Drive (2001)

Sin City (2005)

No Country For Old Men (2007)

Dark Country (2009)

The Killer Inside Me (2010)

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)


Re: The Underneath (1995)

"the so called Neo Noir would have to be extremely twisted to off set it's lack of Noir stylistics."
I agree with that.

This is a great list, most of the 60's, 70's and 80's ones you mention I have seen and liked. Interesting to put In the Heat of the Night as Neo-Noir, but I can see it.

I have been trying to track down Hickey & Boggs for a long time. No luck as of yet. It is on youtube, but there seems to be something wrong with the print.

Blink I saw when it came out and liked it a lot. Se7en is a movie I cannot stomach. That was a bit too much.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: The Underneath (1995)

RE: In The Heat Of The Night the menu on the 40th anniversary edition has a B&W Noir homage. You get, in your face Noir, just from the opening credits, then the rest of the sets are what I like to call Edward Hopper-esque Noir. It's gets so hyped as a landmark/breakthrough film that its not noticed how Noir it is the same goes for Shaft, it practically started the Blaxploitation craze but its a solid Neo Noir PI flick and not at all like the cheap flood of over the top quasi imitations that followed, check it out too.

I get a lot of hard to find DVD films through Ebay (Hickey & Boggs, Romeo Is Bleeding) they may be from Hong Kong, Thailand, etc. but if they are R0 and have English listed as one of the languages I've had no problem. The DVDs are just default set to whatever the native language of country of origin is, you just go to the menu click English, and then click no subtitles.

Oldies.com has a good DVD copy of The Kill-Off which is one of the best adaptations of a Jim Thompson book.

My next option (lucky for me I still have a VHS player) is VHS tapes which have a lot of titles that still haven't made it to DVD, and may never. I got Delusion, and This World Then The Fireworks that way.

Re: The Underneath (1995)

"It's gets so hyped as a landmark/breakthrough film that its not noticed how Noir it is the same goes for Shaft,"
Very true. I also looked at those movies simply as landmark movies, with the Blaxploitation films being the more fun version of serious ones. My fault.

I don't have the 40th anniversary DVD of In the Heat of the Night, but the B&W Noir homage sounds great.
Shaft is a fun movie and I even like the new version.

There still seem to be quite a lot of people who have their old VHS players. Mine went out a long time ago, but maybe I should have held on to it.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: The Underneath (1995)

Here you go J_R69 I posted the menu of the 40th anniversary edition a while ago on Youtube to illustrate it's homage to Noir:



And here are the very Noir opening credits chiarocuro lighting, high and low angle cinematography, shadows:

Re: The Underneath (1995)

Thank you! I tried to find it on youtube but typed in the whole title. Didn't think of "ITHOTN menu". :)

Time for a re-watch.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

VHS

Yes, me also. That's how I got to see Deep Cover, bought the VHS off ebay.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

The True neo-noir list

Good list, a few I haven't seen including Shaft which I've been meaning to watch. It's got to be worth it for the soundtrack alone. Watching Alfredo Garcia this week.

Here's a few you might want to check out that I didn't see on your list or spike's:

Devil in a Blue Dress, The Long Goodbye, The Two Jakes and After Dark, My Sweet.

NIPO is about the best to be hoped for from today's cinema. Nobody's going to make a black and white and nobody is going to lean too much towards style over substance. The movie going demographic is simply not interested and directors do want their films to be seen.

Re: The True neo-noir list

I second Devil in a Blue Dress. Highly recommended.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."
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