Artists, writers, and singer/songwriters, and filmmakers offer a specific vision of life. Whether it inspires compassion, inspiration, fresh new thinking, and joy or whether it deadens, roils up hatred, bores, triggers horror, fear, or despair depends on the state of the creator and of the consumer. I think artists have a sacred responsibility to serve life and help us expand our vision.
That does not mean commerce cannot be involved, Some of the most inspiring creative excellence has come out of advertising. Nor does it mean that the shadow cannot be shown in the picture. it’s in us and in our world, right? And to ignore it is silly. But how does your protagonist deal with his own ego? How does he respond to evil when faced with it?
“Everybody counts or nobody counts” -(Michael Connelly’s) Harry Bosch
The best noir antiheroes have a flinty and uncompromising moral code. It may not be the one held by the systems within which they have to work (or which they work against). But the respect for human life is always there, shining like a diamond in the mud. Our stories need to be about bigger things than revenge, ego, the vicarious trashing of “the other,” or stylish, clever, yet empty cynicism. Empathy is the key factor that drives storybook and everyday heroes, even the gruff and edgy kind. Ya Gotta Have Heart.