The recent and continuing heatwave reminded me of the similarly kiln-like climate of a few years back. Oppressed by the immense bigness of Hot, a chum and I had sought shelter and refreshment by the South Bank, and were keenly diminishing a several of frosty beverages, exchanging pleasantries while the starch in our collars wilted like somnolent orchids. Swirling the dregs in his latest tankard for a moment or two, he confessed to me that he had the beginnings and makings and shapings of a feuilleton but was sadly baffled and stymied in his attempts to birth it. He had noted examples of references to Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal in some surprisingly mainstream Pop Culture movies.
Alas, he had itemised but two examples of his theory, failing the necessary and sufficient Rule Of Three. It wasn’t enough to have spotted that chess is also played with Death in Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey and that an odd song about farm livestock mooing, clucking, lowing and so on is also sung in Freddy Got Fingered (an opus I fear life may precisely 87 minutes too short to see), he didn’t have Three, the Magic Number. Eheu, lacking the vital trifecta, my chum been forced into idleness, mentally crossed his heels on his desk and crumpling his drafts into aerodynamic pupae to shy at the bin.
I commiserated with him and his tantalisation, whiffling aloud that surely there was a similar boondoggle concerning Genres Of Film That Are Also Colours, And Furthermore Original Packaging Colours At That, Smoke On Your Pipe And Stick That In, Paisan. Intrigued and not a little picqued, he bad me explain my rash claim, nodding curtly to a passing servitor to refresh our whets. Characteristically vague, vain and hasty, my trope was that the terms Noir and Giallo are both colours (if in different languages) and movie genres. What’s more, they relate to the bindings of the original source novels. I can't recall where I first read that Noir relates to the original bindings given to hardboiled detective fiction by French publishers before contrastingly lit black and white movie adaptations were made of them, but Roger Ebert sportingly confirms it.
However, I too lacked my Necessary Third, and we both had to stumble on as best we could. The moment I recalled this contretemps I (and no doubt you) thought “Hang on, what about Blue Movies?” (apparently some of which may be found amidst the InterNets, gentle reader). I’m satisfied to my own satisfaction (tauto-ahoy!) that I can march behind this newly stitched banner of Black, Yellow and Blue, but does it have the gilt edge that only the extended claim can garner? Did Blue movies ever come in blue wrappers, were they ever bound in blue tape? From whence came the name? Is it to do with Blue Laws?