Short Film: “Dark Noir”

A stylish, lean short film about a private eye who can see into the invisible world where peoples’ ideas are manifested literally.


There’s something cheeky about a film that is essentially titled “Dark Black.” A splash of stylish French is but a token attempt to mask the redundancy. This fantasy noir plays its story fairly straight, but there is a hint of humorous exaggeration in the animation; just enough to let me feel that the filmmakers were having some respectful fun with the genre, and not getting too full of themselves.

Going by the “disclaimer” at the beginning and the announcement that “Dark Noir” is produced by the vodka company Absolut, this might be some sort of advertisement. However, it has nothing obvious to do with vodka or any kind of alcohol, beyond one of the settings being a bar. Perhaps this is another touch of irony?

Regardless, I think it works pretty well as a short film. It takes only a lean two and a half minutes to tell a story complete with set up, interesting plot progression, a surprising twist, and a satisfying resolution. The plot as a whole is nothing brilliant or original — in fact, it’s almost by-the-numbers for the noir genre. But the fantasy premise is a neat one, and the storytellers work it in well. The animation is pretty fantastic, especially how they gave 2D animation a functional, effective place amidst all the fancy 3D graphics. I’d happily watch a feature film in this style.

Let me know what you think of “Dark Noir.”


Dark Noir from Gillian Glendinning on Vimeo.

Author: David

I’m a young Christian American reader writer dreamer wanderer walker flier listener talker scholar adventurer musician word-magician romantic critic religious idealist optipessimist man.

One thought on “Short Film: “Dark Noir””

  1. That *is* a really cool short film, and I agree that the use of 2D animation to signify a world of spirits (as contrasted to the material world) is actually kind of profound. The story makes me think of a short story in the Sandman series, about an artist who captures one of the 9 greek Muses (Calliope), and basically holds her prisoner and abuses her for inspiration. When Dream finds her, he frees her and punishes the artist by giving him so much inspiration that it drives him mad. Anyway, I really enjoy stories that deal with the artistic process and where the ideas come from.

    Speaking of short films that are also ostensibly advertisements, I like this one for BMW, about a man who makes a deal with the devil–another archetypal story, to be sure. Featuring Gary Oldman and James Brown, no less!

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