Poking the ruins

Yesterday I wrote a little about some of the NoirMOOC material. Richard Edwards, who is running the MOOC, replied via Twitter:

and the quote he is referring to is:

Where the house had been, was now a mound of blackened ruins. We poked around in the ashes for a few minutes—not that we expected to find anything, but because it’s the nature of man to poke around in ruins.

And that’s the noir connection – that trainwreck fascination, the human nature “to poke around in ruins.” That’s what we see in Double Indemnity, as we watch Walter make a wreckage of his life. That applies to the other films we’ve been watching as well, Detour, Scarlet Street, The Stranger – all digging through human ruins.

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