by Peter Rasmussen

Future Noir

Posted by Peter Rasmussen on March 28, 2007

 Stolen Life is future noir or film noir in a science fiction landscape.

Blade Runner 

“Future Noir” was first coined in the title of a book by that name about the making of Blade Runner by Paul M. Sammon. Blade Runner of course is the stunning Ridley Scott film based on the book “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, by Philip K. Dick.

It surprises me how few titles have been made in this genre.

There’s a profusion of Gothic sci-fi akin to Matrix and sci-fi horror like Alien. Many genres have been combined with sci-fi to great success. Why so little future noir?

It’s a refreshing use of the science fiction universe. As thrilling and excellent as the action genres can be they tend to focus on activity and outcomes in the external world. Noir while still being cinematic can be much more internal and evocative.

Tex Murphy 

Many interactive adventures have taken on film noir. A detective story is well suited to interactivity. The only future noir interactive I know of is the “Tex Murphy” series of adventures. Set in 2042 after World War III in the area of what used to be San Francisco, society is divided into Norms and Mutants. A Norm himself, Tex prefers the company of mutants – the new underclass.

Tex Murphy web site

Rocket Squad

The very first instance of future noir on the screen would have to be “Rocket Squad” (1956)
Daffy Duck and Porky Pig star as Sgt Joe Monday and his partner Detective Shmoe Tuesday. This is a spoof of the old radio show and television series “Dragnet”. When a bank is robbed, the two are dispatched to solve the crime. Their prime suspect is George ‘Mother’ Machree.

Rocket Squad in screenshots (site not in English)

And now we have Stolen Life


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