When I was a little kid and all of my little friends were obsessed by Walt Disney, repeatedly watching his films to their parents' silent despair, I was watching the likes of Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep. I simply loved film noir. Cinderella, Snow White and Yasmin were everyone else's icons and mine were Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner and Gene Tierney. Maybe not very suitable for a 6 year-old (casinos, cigarettes, alcohol and easy women are as present in film noir as forests, fairies and pink clothes are in fairy tales), but original I must admit.
People often talk about how much mental and emotional harm Disney's films can do to children (and, let's admit it, especially to little girls, who are far more fascinated by these cartoons than boys). Grown-ups blame Disney for every cheesy misconception about love, marriage and gender roles they might have. Maybe I have been less affected by Disney's films than many people around me, but I highly suspect my obsession with film noir as I was growing up also left me with a distorted perception of reality. I particularly blame Hollywood for fooling me into believing the following:
1. Veronica Lake's hair was natural.
2. Drinking whisky at 9 am was normal.
3. The only existing colours for clothes were black, white and metallic (I still believe that, as anyone who has seen my wardrobe will have noticed).4. It was perfectly respectable to sleep during the day and spend nights in sleazy joints.
5. Humphrey Bogart would appear at the turn of any corner.
As you can see I am just as emotionally deranged as Disney-films viewers. Also, as they were listening to little mice sing cute songs and learning the lyrics by heart, I was listening to this kind of songs:
Clips from Gilda, To Have and Have Not, The Lady from Shanghai and The Big Sleep.