The universe of film noir has several constants, including aggressive smoking or drinking, sharply shadowed photography, and a universal canvas that allows much of the action to take place off-screen. But ever since Barbara Stanwyck went grocery shopping with her sunglasses on in Double Indemnity, there has been another element as well: the overblown, baroque conspirator who is more interested in committing crime than getting anything out of it. It's this element that many of today's directors find hardest to recreate - creating characters that are cheerfully rotten.

categories Cinematical