“What’s your favorite film?” It’s the question every cinephile delights to hear, yet also dreads. Delights, because finally someone made this social function less awkward — and besides, who doesn’t want to extol their loves before others? Dreads, because who can pick just one movie?
Orson Welles’ The Lady from Shanghai begins with the sea, roiling and foaming beneath the opening credits. Many films noir are laden with existential anxieties; indeed, fatalism and cynicism are as commonplace in the genre as stylized lighting, bantering innuendoes, and convoluted crimes.