It’s once again time to take part in that brain child from the folks over at Movie Mobsters and the Fandango Groovers Movie Blog. Wherein we look at films that standout in or have an influence on a particular genre of film. This time out, we’re taking a look at DETECTIVE NOIR FILMS. Here’s my selection:
“I’m looking to find this big game the Pin’s played, not to gum it, but just so when its tail jams in my back I’ll know who to bill for the embalming” – Brendan Frye
It’s no secret that, while I love films, I don’t watch a ton of older films. So the classics for this genre, like The Maltese Falcon or any Bogart film, are pretty much lost on me. So, when I was asked to contribute to this piece, I had to go with a Neo-Noir for my choice. Luckily, I knew of a great one that manages to deliver a classic 50’s Noir in a contemporary setting. Here’s the basic idea behind the film BRICK:
A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.
While that sounds cool, it does the film zero justice. What’s brilliant about Brick is while the story is an unravelling murder mystery and the dialogue is completely authentic to the Noirs of old, the film takes place in a modern-day high school. It’s, honestly, a crossing of genres that could have gone horribly wrong but manages to succeed by its utter loyalty to its premise. I will admit, the first time I watched the film, I had to watch it with the sub-titles on because the heavily stylized dialogue (including the slang used) can be hard to follow but it’s well worth the investment.
A few other things worth noting about this film… One thing that amazes me is the fact that it got distributed at all. Which probably only happened because of its modest budget (around 500 thousand). That number is another thing that amazes in that a film of this quality could be produced for pennies by Hollywood standards. This is also the film, in my opinion, that proved Jo-Go (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) had the makings of a star. If you follow his resume, you’ll see Hollywood mirrored my opinion.
Finally, I’d just like to mention the director: Rian Johnson. When I appeared on The (late, great) Film Cynics radio show a few months back, they asked me who I had my eye on out there as far as directors. I told them Rian Johnson who followed up Brick with The Brothers Bloom and is in production with Looper, a time travel Sci-Fi Action film starring Bruce Willis. His career looks very promising right now and this is where it all started… by reinventing a classic film genre.
Here is the film’s red-band trailer:
You can find all the films selected for this edition of Groovers & Mobsters Presents by CLICKING HERE!!!