The Noir Anti-Hero

The Set-Up (1949)

Today I came across an article by one Tom Hart on the (alleged by some) neo-noir film Sin City in an obscure UK students portal.

Hart argues that this movie among other things bastardises the conventions of film noir insofar as there is no redeemed anti-hero. Strangely though he goes on to illustrate his point by referencing Bogart’s Rick in Casablanca.

What is interesting is Hart closes his piece with a nice take on the noir protagonist:

Noir anti-heroes can be amoral, cynics, corrupt, tormented by angst, ambiguous, absurd, but they are never, in the final event, without the courage to choose the absurd path in life. Sin City provides the basis for a great noir, but fails to deliver a redeemed anti-hero.

As Albert Camus observed:

‘In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.’

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