Friday, August 13, 2010

Out of the Past

I’m pretty sure that by the end of my life I will be a hard-boiled expert on noir. I can’t get enough of it. I love discovering it. I love pouring over it. I love being immersed in these films. With as many as I’ve already seen, I can identify some of the best pretty quickly. It is without a doubt that I would make anyone wanting to discover American film noir watch The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity and Out of the Past.

Now I’ve blogged about Out of the Past before, I believe I raved about it. Thank God my second viewing confirms what I thought the first time, Out of the Past is a prime example of the visceral and emotional story telling that can make noir such a powerful genre.

Watching Out of the Past is a riveting experience, partly because the dialogue in that film downright crackles. These are smart, dangerous, witty, sassy characters that won’t be duped and have been handled with finesse by an equally smart writer. Lines like “You can never help anything, can you? You're like a leaf that the wind blows from one gutter to another” are thrown around with ease and make me wish that I could talk like that and have my peers actually follow the conversation.

This film is a cinematic marvel. I can’t believe I didn’t discover it until this year. I want to prevent others with a love of noir from suffering the same fate. So go. Rent it. Buy it. See it.

Kathie Moffat: Oh Jeff, you ought to have killed me for what I did a moment ago.
Jeff Bailey: There's time.

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