Neo-noir  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Neo-noir is a term given to the modern trend of incorporating aspects of film noir into films of other genres. Unlike classic noirs, neo-noir films are aware of modern circumstances and technology. Modern themes employed in these films include identity crises, memory issues and subjectivity, and technological problems and their social ramifications. Similarly, the term can be applied to other works of fiction that incorporate these elements.

Although there have been few new major films in the classic film noir genre since the early 1960s, it has nonetheless had significant impact on other genres. These films usually incorporate both thematic elements, such as the character trapped in a situation and making choices out of desperation or nihilistic moral systems, and visual elements, such as low-key lighting. As film noir can be seen as an early parallel to independent films (given the lack of attention that studios paid to many noir projects) it is fitting that many neo-noir films are also independent.

By the 1970s, newer motion pictures were sometimes earning comparisons to earlier films noir. Unlike classic noirs, neo-noir films are aware of modern circumstances and technology -- details that were typically absent or unimportant to the plot of classic film noir. Modern themes employed in these films include identity crises, memory issues and subjectivity, and technological problems and their social ramifications. Similarly, the term can be applied to other works of fiction that incorporate these elements.


Works that can be described as neo-noir include dystopian films such as Soylent Green, particularly 1980s cyberpunk, such as Blade Runner. Some other examples from this genre include 8mm, Angel Heart, Fargo, Se7en, The Grifters, L.A. Confidential, Pulp Fiction, Streets of Fire, The Usual Suspects, Taxi Driver, Memento, Miller's Crossing, Reservoir Dogs, The Man Who Wasn't There, Sin City, Fight Club, Dark City, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Brick. The trend has surfaced in television series like Miami Vice, Batman: The Animated Series, and Veronica Mars, and in video games like Max Payne or Grim Fandango.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Neo-noir" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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