Noir, or Hard Boiled if we consider the raw, American interpretation of the term.
For this issue, LYF becomes Noir!
Suspense, tension, mystery, intrigue, and love affairs; these are the elements that characterize the Noir literary and cinematographic genre which inspired us for this issue: Noir, or Hard Boiled if we consider the raw, American interpretation of the term. The French call it Polar or else Thriller if the action component is more prevalent.
This genre can be attributed to Edgar Allen Poe; with his work the “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” in 1841. However, the term Noir was coined during the first forty years of the 20th century in France to define a group of novels – from Hammett, Chandler, Cain to all the literature of the “Hard Boiled school” – amalgamated in the “Série Noir” of Gallimard. It was called thus because of the covers’ color. Naturally, the cinematographic works from this serie were also labeled as “Noir”.
In Noir/Hard Boiled literature, as in cinema, solving the crime is not the main component but merely a pretext to develop a story that reflects a sliver of society, the obscure angles of a city, of our very existence and of human nature. In the end, the spectator is forced to reflect on society and analzye the world surrounding them from a somewhat more disillusioned perspective.
The films are marked by a state of ambiguity and charged with sexuality; characterized by dark, gloomy atmospheres, suspended between the waking world and sleep. Darkness prevails, the lighting is always low and dim. The interiors are dark, characterized by moving shadows and light. The characters are disturbing, obscure, buckling under the weight of their torment.
It was not easy for me to propose this theme in such a delicate moment in time as the one we are currently witnessing. I do hope that this topic is welcomed by our readers with the same lightness of spirit with which we have dealt with it. After all, art is what it is: the pure expression of humanity and pure human pleasure.
Yet the main attribute of this specific genre is that it is the first and only form of literature that speaks about modern life, for better or for worse, in its absolute poetry and its most frightful disillusionment.