Saturday, 16 March 2019

Kickboxing Noir - Mike Retter draws attention to an unexplored sub-genre

Editor's Note: Adelaide film-maker Mike Retter has been in touch to advise: "I've just published this long piece about film aesthetic, centring around an interview with american Cinematographer Ken Blakey and the noir influenced kickboxing films he shot in the 1990s ... And how that style has made it to Victorian College of the Arts via a new short film (that bit is in the last paragraph) ... It’s a long sprawling piece about history, film-style and the blurry line between genre-films and art-films."

So…here are the opening paras and a picture of the poster for this largely unexplored cinema byway… 

PM Entertainment is a much-loved film production company from the height of the straight-to-video era. They began with tiny-budget crime and exploitation films but eventually rivaled Hollywood in terms of action spectacle. Their calling cards would become flipping cars, explosions and excessive violence on a large scale. They strived to outdo their DTV competitors by attempting the most daring action and stunt-work in American cinema.

But apart from action, one thing that isn’t quite as discussed or explored about PM Entertainment is aesthetic. Before budgets became much bigger in the mid-nineties and they could afford to fill half a film with massive escalating car-chases, PM had a string of cheaper crime films with thick film noir atmosphere. PM also had a unique twist on noir, in that they combined it with martial arts and thus arguably created their own new genre of “Kickboxing Noir”.

For the rest of the story you will have to click here 

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