21ST March, 2011
Sin City: Is it Film Noir?
Controversial topics are brought to the table when speaking of Hollywood film Sin City. The story line appears to be set in the 50s and follows three protagonist characters that are all linked through their femme fatal characters. The filming technique displayed brings rise to the question of whether the movie is film noir or not. Numerous characteristics found in other noir films are traced out in the motion picture. Sin City proves to be a modern take on film noir through scenery, the character roles and filming style.
The first scene of the film shows a beautiful woman standing on a balcony overlooking Sin City. An eerie feel covers the city with bright lights contrasting against the character. She is greeted by a stranger who falsely comforts her to her death. This scene gives the audience their first taste of film noir and foreshadows the scenes to come. The entire movie portrays film noir but there are specific clips that reveal detailed noir technique. Old town exemplifies film noir scenery the most. The scene utilizes grungy parts of town, corrupt law enforcement and violence; perfect noir elements. Old town “acts to fuse sexual and criminal transgression into a single force field” presenting a “noir schema” (Orr 12). Another clip that demonstrates noir depiction is the pits. The pit’s setting presents a ghostly and squalid appearance much like other noir films.
The introduction of the characters further expresses noir scheme. There are three main protagonist characters that are helpless when their femme fatal falls in need. The film first introduces Hartigan, a cop with a heart condition that tries to save a young girl Nancy from rape and murder. He prevails successful in the beginning and the end of the film, but ultimately dies to protect her. Marv, a maniac hungry for revenge, is introduced second. He slept and fell in love with a woman named Goldie who was killed the following...