Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Not Dark Yet, But It's Getting There

Don't know if you're hip to the podcast tech or not, but you should be. A podcast is essentially a radio show in MP3 format, so you can listen to it anytime anywhere and anyone can make one. The last update of iTunes provided podcast support, which is when i picked up on it (I wish I was an early adopter, but I'm too lazy for that). For the last month or so, I've been listening to a few different podcasts. Mostly Air America radio shows that are on at inconvenient times for me. Also, on the sidebar, you'll find a link to Cinecast, a good podcast by a couple guys in Chicago who like to argue about movies.

The last couple of days, I've been listening to Out Of The Past, a podcast about film noir and films noir (see link in the above title). They've done 4 half hour shows so far, with shows being posted out every two weeks. The first two episodes are about Out Of the Past and Double Indemnity and basically work to generally define noir for those less familiar with it by examining those two canonical films. The next two are about Batman Begins and The Third Man and these are where the series starts to get interesting.

The thing that makes noir so fun to talk about is that no one really knows what it is. Is it a genre? a style? both? Do you need to have a femme fatale? Does it have to be black and white? Does it have to deal with crime? The OOTP guys seem to think Batman Begins is a film noir because of its visual style. I think it isn't because it isn't dark enough and the protagonist isn't close to as flawed as a true noir hero. Through the course of episode 4, one of them manages to convince the other that The Third Man really isn't a noir after all. An opinion I happen to agree with (it appropriates noir style to tell a morally simple story, noir requires moral ambiguity).

Coming up on Monday they'll be discussing The Maltese Falcon, then two weeks after that Blade Runner, which I'm really looking forward to because, as you may or may not know, I HATE BLADE RUNNER.

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