It opens with an explosive second person voice-over, cursing the day you’re brought into this world, as a roaring train emerges from a womb-like tunnel. Then we’re in New York, the real New York, with Frankie Bono, a hitman.

Blast is an original, latter day noir from 1961, coming after the postwar genre had already been filtered through France and back again, just before Godard would completely deconstruct them.

The voice-over continues as Frankie follows his target around the streets of New York. It’s one of the first films to be shot with a low budget, on location immediacy, lending the film a certain existential realism. When Frankie comes into contact with some old friends it becomes more a mediation on loneliness than a thriller.

This is a flawed, but nevertheless arresting noir, which is also a time capsule of New York and cinema in the early ’60s.

Grade: A-

Blast of Silence is currently available.