"Noir never goes out of style."
September 29, 2020 4:26 PM Subscribe
For a century, it has defined an American ethos in which goodness most often remains unrewarded and justice is capricious if it is served at all. It’s a vernacular art, framed by the voices of the losers and those who stand outside the law. This is only as it should be, for the genre was never meant to stick around. Noir was originally published in pulp magazines or as dime-store paperback originals, and its longevity is a testament to its tenacity—everyone’s most necessary survival skill.Alta Online explores noir.
- The Last of the Old-School Private Eyes For nearly 50 years, a tight-knit group of San Francisco private eyes—intellectual, swashbuckling, anti-authority lefties—practiced their craft in the pursuit of truth and, hopefully, justice.
- The Rise of the True-Crime Podcast Millions in revenue, fan art, and live touring shows: true-crime series are a thriving corner of the podcast world.
- Eight True-Crime Podcasts to Download Right Now Denise Hamilton breaks down the best series, hosts, and subjects in this wildly popular genre.
- The Journey of the Antihero Often characterized by desperation and darkness, noir has evoked California’s culture of disruption for 100 years.
- Eight Noir Books That Nail the Genre Alta books editor David L. Ulin selects a collection of must-read (and reread) titles for every noir fan.
- What If Philip Marlowe Fell in Love? What is it about author Raymond Chandler’s famous fictional detective and female foils? A biographer reimagines his legacy.
- Four Books in the Tradition of Raymond Chandler Can’t get enough of Chandler’s Los Angeles? His biographer Judith Freeman names titles that keep the mood—and the murder—going.
- short fiction: "The Plagues" by Steph Cha In this short story from author Steph Cha, a pregnant woman and her husband struggle to feel safe with riots outside and a gun in the house.
- When Films Were Kings Born of nostalgia, Chinatown today inspires a nostalgia of its own: for a Hollywood driven by creativity.
- California Schemin’ A trio of neglected neo-noir films reveal the dark side of the California dream.
- Eight Great California Film Noirs Eddie Muller, one of the world’s foremost experts on noir, picks Golden State classics to add to your watch list.
- Prison Made Me a Screenwriter! In the 1920s and 1930s, Ernest Granville Booth made a name for himself as a criminal and as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after writers.
- Five Great Prison Noirs The jig is up—you love film noir. Watch these classics with someone who’ll serve as a credible alibi.
- Attica Locke Makes Her Movie Case The mystery author explains why A Soldier’s Story is her favorite whodunit.
- The Killer Inside Tod Goldberg The author and Alta contributor picks Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me as his top noir classic.
- Naomi Hirahara’s Favorite Noir Story The Edgar Award–winning mystery writer takes a stab at a classic.
- Gary Phillips’s Favorite Noir The prolific novelist explains why, just like the beat of a great film score, he can’t shake Fast One.
- Alta’s Noir Story Contest Summon your inner Dashiell Hammett and write your own pulp fiction—using five elements supplied by us.
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments