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Noir

As Roger Ebert says, "The most American film genre, because no society could have created a world so filled with doom, fate, fear and betrayal, unless it were essentially naive and optimistic." I'm reading Lee Horsley's The Noir Thriller. This covers three periods of Noir, literature and film, each with its own areas of interest, representing the changing focus of the genre. So we have:

- 1920-45
Hard-boiled Investigators
Big-shot Gangsters and Small-time Crooks
Victims of Circumstance

- 1945-70
Fatal Men
Fatal Women
Strangers and Outcasts

- 1970-2000
Players, Voyeurs and Consumers
Pasts and Futures

I probably should have read this before writing Twisted 50s campaign frame for Mortal Coil because it would have given me more ways to present and slice up the Noir setting. Much of what I wrote falls into Horsley's 20-45 range but I've included some of everything else, without necessarily giving such a tight historical perspective. But then the Mortal Coil campaign frame only costs $2.

I've also been reading London Books excellent period thrillers including Kersh's Night and The City and They Drive by Night by Curtis (nothing to do with Bogie). These feel surprisingly modern and I'm thinking hard about a 30s gangster Trail scenario.