While there are flashy New Wave touches in portions of ONCE A THIEF (particularly the opening sequence), it's simply a late noir (the first half of the sixties in America is sometimes referred to as "post-noir"--but not yet "neo"). BLAST OF SILENCE is primarily a ham-fisted rendition of a hit man film, with some visual techniques and settings borrowed from the Cassavetes/Clarke school of New York-y "neo-realism" (more that than "New Wave" as now fashionably used by East Coast critics and the clique-y folks who program New York rep cinemas. It's wonderful in its big-shouldered awkwardness, but it is not really pointing toward a more random, unfathomable world that we see emerging in artier hybrids later in the decade (MICKEY ONE, a somewhat unclassifiable "mess" that is probably best categortized as "post-noir art oddity").
POINT BLANK is where we move into what is clearly new territory (color, color palette, narrative uncertainty, film/music rhythmic interconnections, undercurrents of meta-irony) and while most "neo" doesn't go as far in this way, it does capture some portion of these elements while furthering the level of violence and psychopathy that starts to build in the late 50s.
What isn't clear to many just yet is how much more late noir there is around the world in the 1960s (France, Britain, other European countries, South America, Japan) and how that relocation of the noir impulse alters things. This fact has to be taken into consideration even if those films are not part of the list (limited to US releases) as it reminds us that noir was in a holding pattern in the US while other countries were still creating something fresh with their version of the "noir formula" from 1959-66.
FRENCH 6 (next month at the Roxie, Nov 14-18) will explore much of that territorial range in France in its all-1960s show.