Chapter

Noir Looks and the Flash of Transgression: Trauma and the City’s Edge(s) in <i>A Bittersweet Life</i>

Susie Jie Young Kim

in Cinema at the City's Edge

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9789622099845
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206731 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622099845.003.0007

Series: TransAsia: Screen Cultures

Noir Looks and the Flash of Transgression: Trauma and the City’s Edge(s) in A Bittersweet Life

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This chapter focuses on Kim Je-Woon's A Bittersweet Life, a film which diverges from gangster films' conventional fixation with honor codes and sentimental displays of staunch masculinist camaraderie and offers, in their stead, a highly stylized cinematic poetics centered on a solitary city wandering. The film's cinematic city is the site of trauma, and in its stylistically disposed fantasy world, the hero stands alone, linking this film more with classic noir than the gangster genre.

Keywords: Kim Je-Woon; A Bittersweet Life; gangster film; cinematic city; trauma; noir; gangster genre

Chapter.  7721 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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