One reason why a global recession might not be so terrible: UK newspaper the Telegraph explains how recession can lead to a resurgence of Film Noir. I thought rom-coms and Disney/Pixar flicks were popular with depression-like global cultural status, not dames with long, sexy legs and guns, and men in trench coats, faces obscured by shadows. I guess I was wrong – at least according to Mathew Sweet, the article’s writer. There’s nothing I’d love more than to see an abundance of Noir again. Perhaps not as many films and TV shows as the studios pumped out after Pearl Harbor (Sweet argues the Japanese attack was THE moment that triggered Noir; it wasn’t, German Expressionism inspired Noir), I don’t need 6 different variations of The Big Sleep in 2010, but enough to fill my gullet. A Noir trend would be intriguing in a couple ways: stylistically and story-wise. If you look at the “Plot Synopsis” of any relatively famous Noir Film you’ll find 17 paragraphs littered with events and details so dense a mob boss could chain an enemy’s feet to them and throw him into the East River. Some films have gone for this approach in the past few years. Particularly, The Dark Knight – which, in superhero movie terms, breathes Film Noir – adopts this philosophy in its script. Every little gesture, every conversation, every action means SOMETHING in terms of the big picture in that film, as is fairly standard in a Film Noir affair. Early on in The Maltese Falcon Mary Astor’s character inexplicably changes her name to “Brigid O’Shaughnessy” in front of Bogart (as Sam Spade) when she previously had introduced herself as “Ruth Wonderly”. It seems trivial at first – like when Luscious Fox asks Wayne Enterprises hired accountant “Coleman Reese” to “go over the numbers again…” – but in the end turns out to be very significant for both the characters and the viewers. In terms of style, I’ve always dreaded the day when impatient and flashy DP’s made their presence too known. That day has come. It is now. I’m not sure what started it (I tried to answer that question in THIS POST; and probably failed), but I do know it’s here. Two very different films for example, The Bourne Ultimatum and Transformers 2, have been lauded by fans for the same exact thing: the camera and action is WAY to flashy to even know what’s going on in the action/fight scenes. It’s true. And it isn’t just Paul Greengrass or Michael Bay getting involved in the act. This trend transcends any genre, rating (R, PG-13, PG), post-2000 year, or even form of media (now television’s getting in on the act too). And someone needs to make it stop. That someone is the slow-pan, shadowy look of Film Noir in all it’s slow moving paced tense action and drama. Bring me my NOIR!