Anticipated by the German Expressionists, discovered by French aesthetes, beloved by American film scholars, the atmospheric crime stories, paranoid policiers, and hard-boiled detective yarns known as film noir constitute the most stylized, self-consciously artistic tendency in Hollywood history. Compositions in convoluted flashback, tough-guy slang, and precisely adjusted venetian blindsonly bebop, which also developed during World War II, could claim to be a richer form of American avant-pop.
Noir is its own place, but it belongs to Los Angeles; it is a dark shadow cast by the radiant City of Angels. A particular subset of film noir deals with local historythe city’s or the movies’. These are the Sunshine Noirs. Citizen Kane’s fake newsreels and haunted mansion anticipate Sunshine Noir, as Kane (1941) does all noir. Indeed, Orson Welles virtually defined Sunshine Noir
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