The city just got brighter, cleaner, and lost part of its gritty soul.
Noir Nation is the only mystery magazine in the world that joins international crime fiction and tattoos. Its content is often dark, hard-boiled, sometimes creepy, but because it embraces crime fiction in all its forms, readers can also enjoy the occasional humorous story and cozy mystery.
Issue No. 5 explores the current conflict in Syria and Iraq from perspectives available only to fiction. It also includes interviews with former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik and exiled Iranian novelist Naïri Nahapétian, classic desert noir from Sax Rohmer, and an early detective story from Arabian Nights.
New fiction and nonfiction by George Beck, Bianca Bellová, Lauren Cahn, Doug Levy, Lindsay Moran, Andrew Scorah, Deborah Pintonelli, A.J. Sidransky, Sax Rohmer, Frank Sonderborg, Jonathan Sturak, Diane Vacca, Eddie Vega, and Barbie Wilde.
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In this video from a live 1997 performance by Michael Jackson in Munich, part of the HIStory World Tour, Noir afficionados will recognize many classic elements of crime noir in nearly every aspect of the dance: the dark suits, the guns, the dead bodies, the theme of the femme fatale. Although controversy still surrounds Jackson’s private life and possible border crossings into criminality of the most sordid sort, this dance offers strong evidence of his genius for taking tired tropes of a genre and electrifying them with new life.
It offers an interesting contrast to this piece with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse from the film version of The Band Wagon. It has many of the same elements, but with one clear exception: the femme fatale is not alluded to. She is there moving and owning the space with as much danger as can fit into a tight red dress.
And of course, there is this classic dance number from Guys and Dolls, which takes place in the subterranean world of illegal crap shoots:
There’s torture, and there’s killing
and there’s all my bad reviews
The war, the children missing, lord
It’s almost like the blues
It’s almost like the blues …
[NB: After our post went viral, the original video was removed based on numerous complaints. Fortunately, it was still showing on the account of TrueVision Filmworks. See it while you can. The censors are working overtime.]
Often rap music celebrates criminality or reflects on its effects on communities. But something happened with Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, aka L Jinny, the British rapper who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley earlier this week. He took a turn into the darkest alleys of noir, the kind so dark that it falls under true crime.
L. Jinny is the fellow in the red cap:
Compare the Eyes: