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Are We Square?

September 12th, 2003 by Ryan Ozawa · 2 Comments · Miscellaneous

I recently got to meet up with Mitchell “She’s a Babe!” Dwyer and Ian Murphy, and movie talk dominated. I got the chance, therefore, to profess my love for “Fargo.” Mitchell has it high on his “Top Movies” list too, and we’ve both vowed to share it with Ian. (As it turns out, the three of us have pretty complimentary tastes in films.)

I love “Fargo” — even more than “Pulp Fiction.” Jen and I are watching it now. Brilliant. William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand, and the Coen Brothers behind the lens. How can you go wrong?

The last great thing I read about “Fargo” was a tragic June story in The Guardian linked at MetaFilter, which mixed fiction and reality in telling the sad story of one Ms. Takako Konishi, age 28. But last week Jen found a short post in the Fametracker forums (a web addiction of hers I’ve been unable to break) that was even better: a framing of “Fargo” as “anti-noir,” or the antithesis of film noir. I found it especially interesting because when “Fargo” came out, a lot of people were comfortably placing it in the conventional film noir category.

Since most people I respect steer clear of Fametracker, and because I know I’m going to want to refer back to it someday, I’m reproducing the paragraph here (with credit and gracious thanks to forum regular maschnitz (who is probably also maschnitz at MetaFilter, a.k.a. Matt Schnitz).

“Fargo is an anti-noir. It has many noir elements in it, but backwards: suburbia instead of urban; white visual theme instead of black; big open spaces instead of claustophobic buildings; a flawless waddling pregnant detective instead of a damned chain-smoking male detective; and bumbling incomponent criminals instead of underworld masterminds. Mike Yanagita is the bizarro leggy blonde that tempts the main character from his/her steady gal/guy (Norm). Instead of a devil in a red dress, Marge gets approached by a massively insecure chubby engineer.”

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • NemesisVex

    And let’s not forget the pilot of a “Fargo” television series in which Edie Falco plays Frances McDormand’s role complete with Wisconsin accent. It’s airing on TrioTV as part of it’s “Brilliant but Canceled: The Pilots” campaign.

  • Matt Schnitz

    Wow, thanks for doing the research on who I am! Very impressive! (Your skill i s even a bit disquieting…)

    It’s kinda funny seeing an idea of mine turn up on someone else’s site during an ego search.

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