Film Noir Assignment
1--How is the mood of Sunset Boulevard representative of the Film Noir style? The mood of the film is immediately established as decadent and decaying by the posthumous narrator - a dead man floating face-down in a swimming pool in Beverly Hills. As we fade backward into the story, we quickly come to understand that this film is about "behind the scenes" Hollywood, self-deceit, spiritual and spatial emptiness, and the price of fame, greed, narcissism, and ambition. We see from the beginning that Joe is a struggling screen writer who cannot even afford to make his car payments, and is desperate for help from anyone to sell one of his scripts. As Joe continues on his path, the mood of the film becomes grimmer as more happens to Joe, and winds up in Norma’s house; who is depressed and highly suicidal. This film depicts Joe in traditional film noir style as we quickly see that he is somewhat of an innocent man momentarily and fatally tempted by luxury in this dark and sadistic film. 2--Does the protagonist follow the "pattern" typically set for this style of film? In my opinion, Joe did not follow the role of protagonist in the film noir style of Sunset Boulevard, but did follow the traditional role of a protagonist, in a film not film noir style. In a typical fictional film, the protagonist is someone that we might feel empathy for throughout the movie as he travels through hardships and other problems, such as did Joe when he was out of work, and out of money. As the plot continues, Joe makes choices that are morally wrong such as staying with Norma so that she did not kill herself, so in that aspect he follows the pattern of protagonist quite well. However, in a film noir style film, the protagonists are usually someone who is morally-ambiguous or low-lives from the dark and gloomy underworld of violent crime and corruption, all characteristics we did not see from Joe. However, from the beginning of the film, we see that Joe is...
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