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  1. I'm opening up a thread here to do some note taking and possible discussion on what I've termed Muay Noir, which is the engagement of Muay Thai photography, probably most explicitly Thailand Muay Thai photography (but I'm not sure), with the Film Noir aesthetic. My own photography has been heading in this direction (see some of that here: muaynoir.com), and it feels like the same direction is being taken up successfully by others in the field, enough to think that something very creative and important is going on here. There is an affinity between the Thailand Muay Thai subject matter, and the Film Nor, and neo-Noir aesthetics. This is some of my exploration of that, inviting others to think through this too. Reading a few essays on Film Noir this boils down some of the core elements of the genre, at least in the classic sense: Noir Universe existential crisis self-destructive compulsion alienation feminine betrayal sexual thrills cost fated endings universe of moral ambiguity good intentions produce bad results or, from the famous 1955 essay "Towards a Definition of Film Noir" by French critics Borde and Chaumeton, 5 adjectives: “oneiric, weird, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel” Noir Aesthetics low-key lighting claustrophobic framing shadows and reflections unbalanced composition great depth of field more on Film Noir aesthetics written on here. Some of my photos that have me thinking in this direction: Is there a fundamental concepts of alienation, a morally ambiguous universe, the role of the feminine (as betrayal or lure), the isolation of the subject aesthetically (use of lighting, composition), the psychologicalization of the subject (how faces and expressions seem to amplify in these aesthetics (thank you Instagram commenter, I've forgotten your name but not your excellent point!); and also the nostalgia brought on by the form, the old-timey, Old Hollywood theatricality (the throwback Noir film Raging Bull was mentioned by Dana Hoey in the context of this photo of mine), the rich sense of heroic, or articulate protagonist storymaking, how does this all fold together in creating both an artifice and a truth-telling? What does it mean to photograph the Muay Thai of Thailand as any of these things: “oneiric, weird, erotic, ambivalent, or cruel”
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