In an effort to shake things up a bit, I'm trying something new here. With some help from my flatmate Clyde, I've finally started to learn some Final Cut basics and I've used those new found "skills," to construct a video essay of sorts.
Sunshine noir. Swelter noir. Yuppie noir. Boomer noir. For a few years, I've been thinking about some of the characteristics shared by several of my favorite neo-noirs of the early to mid-'80s and tried to attach a suitable moniker to this grouping. I thought about writing an essay or article, but after a couple false starts, I realized constructing a short clip reel or video essay could be more effective and more fun. The Cinefamily put together a series a couple years back calling some of these films, in addition to a few others, "Neon Noir." For the record, I had already been thinking of my own "Sunshine Noir" series / article independent of the Cinefamily thing.
There is some crossover in these two strands, of course, but I think of these five films as being distinct from the Neon Noir sub-genre, which, incidentally, encompasses just about all of the cinematic antecedents to Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive. Cinefamily's series came about a year before Drive and from what I understand, unfortunately, was not very well-attended. Perhaps if it had coincided with the opening of Drive, it may have fared better.
Since I promised this wouldn't be a written essay, let's just go to the videotape and hope that it explicates things as effectively, or more so, than a written essay would. Music is by Tangerine Dream, by the way. "Love on a Real Train (Movie Version)" from Risky Business and "Igneous" from Thief.