Taking up the noir fringes of the Val Lewton horror cycle, Angel Heart follows Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke), a private investigator hired to track down a missing soldier, ten years after World War II, by a mysterious client (Robert de Niro). This takes him from Harlem, to New Orleans, to the darkest recesses of the Bayou - a trajectory that gradually fuses Louisiana with French North Africa, where he spent his own military service, and reimagines World War II as a second civil war, or at least an irritation of the wound left by the first: “That ain’t Algiers in Africa, that’s Algiers New Orleans.” In the process, the hush left by a fallen generation gives way to a proliferating polyrhythm, audible for the first time, and pinpointing the aftermath of World War II as the moment at which African-Americans achieved audibility, but not visibility. On the one hand, this means that Alan Parker's depiction of actual, individual African-Americans is peculiarly hallucinatory, spectral - they tend to occupy space ceremonially, rather than casually, as so many architectural manifestations, or manifestations of the film's own architecture. On the other hand, the dramatic editing and cinematography - which is where African-America is most palpable, as exotic texture, gumbo and ice - feels designed to be heard as much as seen, or to frame the introduction of vibrant reds into an otherwise black-and-white world as the revelation of a new sense, analogous to audition; Technicolor as an advance in sound cinema. With the addition of a twist that reveals that Harry's heart has, at some level, been externalised for the entire film, Parker both elevates the dexterity with which the noir protagonist hides himself from himself to a national register, and inflects it musically - Harry meticulously cleaning his fingerprints off a key while a solitary piano key plays - fusing syncopation and dysrhythmia into the disconnect between the contiguous and non-contiguous United States.