Monday, 13 May 2013

Flash Fiction: Broken City

This week's flash fiction is a slice of film noire in the form of the written word. It's by Stewart Derry, and it accompanied the film 'Broken City'.

It’s not just the city that is broken, its people are too. Their many hopes and dreams are compromised and degraded by lies, power and corruption. Even the hero’s purest sense of right and wrong is blighted by the grim reality of life and death in Broken City.

Broken City contains many of the classic elements of film noir. The Maltese Falcon, Chinatown and L.A. Confidential all inhabit similar worlds to Broken City. Witness the stylised imagery, the archetypal characters, the mysterious crime that draws everyone together, and how each character is possessed with an overreaching passion that gives heat and substance to the drama.

People are rarely what they seem to be in this genre. The outward show of status, wealth or respectability is a thin veneer that hides a troubled inner world. Our pleasure comes in seeing these fatal flaws exposed and the ways in which the protagonists respond to the choices that confront them. The outcomes are rarely happy, often leading to ruin or redemption.

The ancient Greeks, who knew a thing or two about drama, followed a tragedy with a short comedy in order to lift the spirits. I wonder what your choice of film dessert would be after Broken City?

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