The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz subverts all expectations of the noir genre. It runs counter to every natural impulse within the genre and all the familiar conventions. It’s funny because only a director with a deep understanding of noir conventions could make something this explicitly sideways. It’s a dark, symbolic narrative that follows a character in Archibaldo (Ernesto Alonzo) who yearns to be a hardwired serial killer he’s envision since he was a boy but unfortunately for him, is confined to his mundane life as an upper class bachelor with sociopathic tendencies. It’s a case of hilarious timed writing with many plot devices that take the quintessential noir intensity and alter it for comedic effect. Buñuel brilliantly plays off the basic moodiness of the genre while keeping his placid style. There’s a sense of truth in all his work and once again here as Archibaldo desperately wants to die a criminal with no morals, but is remembered as an upstanding citizen who helped others. … More The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955) is Buñuel brilliantly playing off genre
The frighteningly real experience of William Wyler’s noir-thriller, The Desperate Hours, pins a family with everything to lose against a trio of runaway felons with nothing to lose. The elongated hostage situation is a boiler of nervous energy and the longer the situation gets extended, the less nerve the characters get, making for a volatile situation. It’s an extremely tight narrative structure, a streamline of intensity from the opening moments to the tragic conclusion.
… More The Desperation Felt in William Wyler’s The Desperate Hours (1955) is Palpable