Europa

Europa

Artsy Spy Noir

“Europa” is an example of a genre of noir that is not often considered in the same breath with the detective stories and gangster stories that are seen as defining the genre- spy noir. Some of the classic 40s noir movies are examples of spy noir, including “This Gun For Hire,” but that one also features gangsters and hit men. Spy noir as such is usually set in Europe, often during the Cold War, and it features the atmosphere and the fatalism of film noir in a context of spy versus spy plots and counterplots.

“Europa” uses the feel and atmosphere of this noir subgenre in an artsy, avant garde and somewhat ironic way. The story is set in occupied Germany just after World War II, and features a plot involving “Werwolf” partisans- guerrillas loyal to the recently-defeated Nazi regime. If you like your noir straighforward an unironic, this might strike you as pretentious. If you can handle a little artsy melodrama mixed in with your noir, you'll probably find it interesting.

 

As for me, I'm a little mixed on this one. I remember enjoying it when I first saw it, but that was before I got really seriously into noir as a genre. Now I'm inclined to say that noir should be done seriously if at all, and that artsy pseudo-noir is really irritating. But without seeing it again, I'm not sure which way I would come down on this particular example of the type.