Tuesday 13 January 2009

Cleveland Noir

These images are greyscale versions of colour originals from a postcard folder celebrating the city of Cleveland, Ohio in the 1940’s. The Forties was the great decade of Film Noir and it’s intriguing to note just how much these adjusted images resemble storyboarding for some great unmade Film Noir. Pools of light enclosed by large wedges of dense black shadow. Deserted freeways, windswept, neon lit sidewalks, empty hotel lobbies, Art Deco cocktail lounges – all perfect locations in which to intimidate a witness, blackmail a friend, commit murder or dump a corpse. The smell of cigar smoke and cheap perfume lingers in the air. The city streets make a lethal breeding ground for alienation, paranoia and betrayal. The ghosts of Billy Wilder and Fritz Lang glide silently through the shadows. Somewhere off-screen, Gloria Grahame, John Garfield, Gene Tierney and Robert Mitchum are preparing themselves for a long night of emotional treachery, mutual deceit and sudden violence in front of the camera.

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