The New Noir
This month we’ve been discussing our favorite noir films etc., and I thought I’d be the only one left on the sidelines looking on, unable to contribute. See, I’m not really a big movie fan, and I haven’t read a true noir book since I found a box of old hardboiled detective books when I was in my early teens… and that was a loooong time ago, so I’d have a hard time remembering which was my favorite.
Then, on Friday, I decided to make a Jamaican candy that involves breaking two dried coconuts, prying the meat out of the shells and cutting it up into very small pieces. Definitely one of those tasks that keeps your hands busy but doesn’t really involve lots of thinking, so I was browsing through the TV channels looking for something to watch, and came across a marathon of Longmire. Oh, yeah…
And, as I watched this dark, gritty show, I realized I had found the topic of this blog post. Maybe it wouldn’t be considered traditional film noir, but when I looked for a definition of the term, I came across this, on good ol’ Wikipedia: Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations.
Yep, Longmire fits the definition, in my estimation anyway, if you don’t get too picky about what they mean by ‘stylish’. If you haven’t seen it, the story centers on Sheriff Walt Longmire, sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, who has returned to work after his wife’s death. Not only does he have to contend with crime in his county, an ambitious deputy who wants his job and racial issues between the Anglo and Native populations but also the fallout from his wife’s murder, which hasn’t been solved.
I haven’t watched the entire series but one of the things I really like is that I can watch an episode I haven’t seen before and I don’t feel as though nothing makes sense. I find it enthralling—just the kind of atmospheric show I think falls squarely into the Noir genre. If you’ve never seen it, and enjoy crime dramas, I’d recommend this one. It’s one of those shows where even the best character has a dark side, where you’re left asking who can be trusted—and realize you’d be a fool to put your trust in the complete goodness of any of them. Even the hero. Kind of like in real life…
I love it, to the depths of its (and my) dark soul!