The Noir Genre

Webster describes the word noir as crime fiction featuring hard-boiled cynical characters and bleak settings. This rings true to the original French form of the word, which literally means black. Not only has this word become a genre in its own right, but it has captivated audiences the world over for many years.

In some ways, certain descriptive words could be seen as fashion trends. Something could be in frequent use the one moment and gone the next. Noir, packaged as the true expression of crime, would never become a momentary trend. Though film noir originated in the 1930s and the 1940s, it never really died down. It’s changed somewhat, but essentially we are still reading and watching crime dramas with detectives who have a uniquely disinterested view of life.

So what is it that draws readers and viewers in? Could it be that some people are drawn into the mysteries of the criminal mind due to a lack of decadence in their perfect lives? Could it be that the average Joe can relate to the pressures and stresses of his average day, doing his average job, for an average salary in an average environment? Could it be that others indulge themselves with these dark tales because they have a warped moral core or a keen interest in anything perverted or impure? Well, no one would be able to answer that outright. It could very well be all of the above.

Whatever the reason, people are indeed fascinated with the noir genre. It’s certainly had a long run, and it will continue to run for years to come. How difficult would it be to blend L.A. Confidential and Star Wars? Has this not already been done?

Because the noir genre is absolutely relevant to the day-to-day crime we read about in the newspaper and watch on the news, it can adapt to the changes that time would bring. Crime is an integral part in the fabric of our lives. For as long as criminals do it, authors will write about it, and actors will portray it.

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