Wednesday, August 27

Noir in the Blood

I love noir, specifically L.A. noir. I can't quite put a finger on why. There is something about Los Angeles in the 1930's through 1950's that became the epitome of the American Dream... and then it's destruction. The edge of the country, where Manifest Destiny reached its forced conclusion. A city build around the concept the the car, the manifestation of man's domination over nature and a declaration of total freedom to go anywhere at any moment at 60 miles per hour. The flourishing to defining American invention of the the 20th century (film and the industry that it birthed). Loci of the aircraft industry and the massive growth that World War II brought to the region. A bowl of dry sand forced into being by men of power. A land of artifice and truth.

I could go on and one.

Yes, noir is cartoony. It glamorizes the seedy underbelly. But it is also about the mad desire for redemption.

Without going into details, I found out that it is basically in my blood. My family history reads more convoluted (if less disturbing) than Chinatown. I am not sure if I am comforted or not by that fact.