Documentary Review: Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006)

Release Date: July 18th, 2006
Directed by: Gary Leva

Leva Filmworks, 68 Minutes

Review:

Right out of the gate, I’ve got to say that this is one of the best documentaries that I’ve seen on film-noir. There was one other good one that was either on TCM or AMC back in the 90s but I haven’t been able to track that one down. This is pretty damn thorough though.

For only being 68 minutes, Bringing Darkness to Light is incredibly comprehensive and covers a lot of ground.

This goes through the history of film-noir, especially on how it developed and came to be. It discusses its roots in German Expressionism and gets into why the cinematography was done in the style that became synonymous with noir.

It also covers some of the stars, directors and has a section discussing the music style used in these films. It also clears up a lot of misconceptions on noir, especially in regards to how people somehow associate jazz with noir, even though most of these movies didn’t feature brass instruments in their soundtracks.

The film has real legitimacy, simply for the fact that Eddie Muller, the “Czar of Noir”, is one of the people interviewed. It’s also pretty cool to see Henry Rollins in this, expressing his views on film-noir.

The best thing about this, at least for right now, is that it is streaming for free on YouTube. Stuff like this pops up from time to time but can get pulled down, if someone puts a copyright claim on it. Check it out, while you can. Assuming you’re a fan of film-noir. But if you weren’t, why would you have read this far?

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