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Film Noir

By | October 2008
Page 1 of 2
Film Noir is a French term meaning dark or black film. This downbeat suspense film genre that grew out of the expressionist movement, It emerged in the United states during the depression in the 1940’s and 50’s reflecting uncertainty caused by world war two, resulting in the suppression of civil liberties. There however were many films produced outside the united states, particularly in France, that share elements of style, theme and sensibility. Noir Filmic techniques included light slicing through venetian blinds, alleys cluttered with garbage, abandoned warehouses where dust hangs in the air, rain-slickened streets with water still running in the gutters and dark detective offices overlooking busy streets. Noir Films explored the showy lives of amoral people in urban settings. Cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Chicago are typical urban settings for Film Noir, these cities are presented as a maze, bars dens nightclubs and gambling dens are frequently the scene of action. The climaxes of a substantial number of film noirs take place in visually complex settings, often industrial settings. Most noirs film during night and it always rains depicting a world that is inherently corrupt. The characters of Noir film don’t usually have traditional heroes. The male figures are flawed characters, sometimes harsh, sometimes naive, caught up in a web of unfortunate circumstances that caused their lives to spin out of control. Noir Women were tempting, seductive but untrustworthy. Film Noirs tend to revolve around heroes who are more flawed and morally questionable then the social norm and characters faces may be partially or wholly obscured by darkness. Sunset Boulevard (1950) characters were all I have mentioned above and this film won three Academy awards and is still ranked one of the best films of the noir style Noir plots involve crime, scams, twists and double crossings; usually murder is an element of almost all film noirs along with greed,...

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