The other day I was leafing through a recent copy of Radio Times magazine, and in particular their film reviews. The classic (and quite brilliant) Ealing comedy ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’, which was showing again on one of the cable channels, was featured, and the reviewer described it as ‘comédie noir’.
This immediately rang bells for me, because it’s a perfect description for what I write. I’ve never quite known how to classify my stories before: ‘noir’ is a little too dark; ‘humour’ too, well, funny. But that wonderful French phrase sums it up to a ‘t’, and it’s something I’ll be using to tag my work with future potential publishers. So thank you, Radio Times.
On a side note, I really must catch ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’ again. It’s years since I last watched it and I was too young to really appreciate the blackest of black humour it contains. I can still remember with glee the wonderful (and increasingly eccentric) performances by Alec Guinness as all the members of the aristocratic family. And as for that last line, “My memoirs!”, it has to be one of the best last lines of any noir film.