Recently I had reason to ask a seemingly silly question. On the subject of a work in the "noir" genre, I asked "is it a tragedy?"
Given the bleakness of many works of art being served daily, my question was seeking some glimmer of light. While I tend to enjoy a good tragedy as well as the next, the inexorable lurching movement towards disaster left me never wishing to see the film "Chinatown" a second time,
and while admiring Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" a craving for anything other than sepia set in after a very short time.
However, two aspects in noir please the celtic part of my somewhat battered heart... the shadows and the music.
The Harry Lime theme in "The Third Man" caused an outing to the cinema to be as moving as the first time I saw the film as a child.
It does make a body ask, however why such sadness hangs about the human condition as represented in the arts, today. And the grotesque nature of much popular street entertainment seems to reflect a taste for (literally) "grand guignol".