||Native San Franciscan
and author Eddie Muller is the City's foremost authority on film
noir. "San Francisco as a setting for crime stories perfectly conveys several
major themes in noir," says the author of The Art of Noir and Dark City,
"First, the City has always been known as place where people come to change
their identity. Well, that's a major theme in noir - the notion of hidden
identity and the search for true selves in a world where duplicity abounds.
In a similar vein you've got the notion of the 'city beneath the surface.'
San Francisco is often depicted like a film noir siren, gorgeous from a
safe distance, dangerous at heart. Then there's the odd sense of entrapment.
Even though there's endless space all around, the City is actually piled
onto itself in a very cramped and claustrophic way. And, of course, in
the mid-twentieth century there was still the holdover from the Barbary
Coast days, and storytellers liked to show the City as a stylish and sinister
crossroads for gamblers laying all their chips on a last long shot. My
view of San Francisco is like my view of film noir. The same themes and
stories are being played out today, but not with the same style."
about Eddie Muller