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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
I've only watched two segments of AMERICAN CINEMA--seemed a lot of opinion
and not much fact. As to NOIR, I'm already on record agreeing with
Schrader et al that noir in its original incarnation is more than a genre,
yet the self-consciousness of current filmmakers does seem to impose
generic contraints on neo-noir. I was intrigued by your point on parodies.
I spoke to Schrader before he made that silly HBO movie with Dennis Hopper
(I say this without having seen more than five minutes of it) about what
to use for the picture in a picture. As I recall, he wanted something from
around 1950 with a blonde who shots someone, so I suggested KISS TOMORROW
GOODBYE. He was planning on using a panned-and-scanned de-colorized
version of I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES. I then suggested something shot by
Alton, like BIG COMBO, which he said he'd thought about and which is what
he later told me he ended up using. If this whole process was not parody,
I don't know what is. I think that's why he said "We don't make film noirs
today."
 
Alain Silver