film noir

Mayhem, Murder, and Minnesota: The Films of the Coen Brothers

Mayhem, Murder, and Minnesota: The Films of the Coen Brothers

Joel and Ethan Coen might be the two finest filmmakers working in America today. There are few directors who have captured more entertaining, accurate, or varied instances of the American experience.

Nearly all of their films center around some sort of crime or illicit behavior. Sometimes the protagonist is the perpetrator. Other times he is a victim or an unwitting bystander sucked into the chaos. Almost always though, the protagonist is a fool.

Quiet Peril: Two Masterpieces by Jean-Pierre Melville

Le Samouraï by Jean-Pierre Melville

"What is your greatest ambition in life?"

"To become immortal... and then die."

North by Northwest

By Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason

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Advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill is mistaken for a government agent by a gang of spies. He gets involved in a series of misadventures and is pursued across the States by both the spies and the government as he is being helped by a mysterious blonde. This Hitchcock thriller is on the American Film Institute's Best 100 Films list.

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The Dark Side of Cinema: Gilda

Come join the Central Rappahannock Regional Library as we present Gilda, the second film in the Dark Side of Cinema Series at the Headquarters Library on Monday, October 11th at 7:00 pm.

The Dark Side of Cinema: The Postman Always Rings Twice

Come join the Central Rappahannock Regional Library as we present The Postman Always Rings Twice, the first film in the Dark Side of Cinema Series at the Headquarters Library on Monday, September 27th at 7:00 pm.

What Is Film Noir?

Film noir is not easily defined. The actual words come from French and mean "black cinema." It was in France during the post-war years that the term was used to describe a certain set of Hollywood films that were saturated with a darkness and cynicism that was not seen before. These movies included The Maltese Falcon (1941), Double Indemnity (1944), Laura (1944), and Murder, My Sweet (1944).

A History of Detective Stories: Film Noir

One of the sub-genres that defined classic American crime and detective movies was film noir, a style that was pervasive in detective films of the 1940s and 1950s. Film noir arose during the post-World War II period in the United States as a generation that fought in one of the most brutal conflicts the world had ever seen returned home to a changed America where jobs were scarce and the national mood seemed darker and more cynical than during the war itself. 

The Astounding Leigh Brackett

"Would it help if I got out and pushed?"
—Princess Leia to Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back

"She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up."
—Private detective Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep

From sharp-tongued space princesses to Bogey's grim gumshoe, some of Leigh Brackett's most enduring legacies are the scripts she wrote for movies that are considered among the 20th century's very best.