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Film Noir and Gender

Shades of Noir
by

Henry Beckmann

on 7 January 2013

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Transcript of Film Noir and Gender

FILM NOIR and Gender Annika Rothe,
Ramona Nest, Henry Beckmann
Shades of Noir:
Crime and Crisis in America 08|01|13, Universität Potsdam
Dunst, 1.19.1.16 Getting the
Big Picture 1, The Noir Family
1.1, Pro-Family Messages
1.2, Anti-Family Messages
2, Noir Femininity
2.1, Femme Fatale
2.2, The Good Woman
2.3, The Sexy Mother
2.4, The Marrying Type
3, Noir Masculinity
3.1, The Fall Guy
3.2, The Tough Guy
3.3, Male Bonding 1, The Noir Family “There’s no such thing as courage.
There’s only fear,
the fear of getting hurt
and the fear of dying.
That’s why
human beings
live so long.”
(Dark Passage,
1947) dismisses a basic
cultural belief of America
and all of Hollywood perhaps the most
favorite target:
the family this kind of attack on society´s values is characteristic of Film Noir family and home life
as the celebrated haven from
outside world in American culture
and classical Hollywood cinema in films of 1930s and ´40s family is depicted
as a “cure-all”, eg “There´s no place like home”
-The Wizard of Oz pressure on men and women after the War
to return to the traditional roles
of the nuclear family after the War,
films began to experiment
with alternative formulas
Film Noir with its dark,
disturbing visual style and thematic content Film Noir confronts a range of
status quo values and institutions often expresses its view on American
society through the image
of the family 1.1, Pro-Family Messages endorse the family in their
narrative content and visual style create a negative contrast between the noir-world
and the traditional family life Film Noir follows much the same patterns
as conventional Hollywood films characters
who willingly play
their proper roles
tend to survive characters who resist
playing these roles
often die or end up in jail eg The Postman Always Rings
Twice (1946), Out of the Past (1947),
The Lady from Shanghai (1947), and
Dead Reckoning (1947) borrowing
endings from
conventional Hollywood
melodrama romance allowing the hero and his love
interest to emerge from the noir-
world into the traditional family life eg Stranger on the Third Floor (1940), I Wake Up Screaming (1941), Laura (1944), Murder, My Sweet (1944), Gilda (1946), The Big Sleep (1946), The Lady in the Lake (1947), and Dark Passage (1947) 1.2, Anti-Family
Messages happy ending as irony women in Film Noir are qualitatively
different from the women in
classical Hollywood cinema the women function as an expression of the films´ underlying skepticism towards the traditional family 2, Noir Femininity 2.1, Femme Fatale ie disastrous woman a beautiful woman who
men find very attractive,
even though she may
make them unhappy an attractive woman whose
sexuality gives her power over men independence threat to the hero “the lover” 2.2, The Good Woman opposite of the Femme Fatale loving wife and mother 2.3, The Sexy Mother ideal woman 2.4, The Marrying Type threat for hero fixed social roles 3, Noir Masculinity 3.1, The Fall Guy 3.2, The Tough Guy victim to the femme fatale
agrees to certain criminal collaborations
sexual dependency
mark of castration Walter Neff (Fred McMurray) in “Double Indemnity”
Michael O’Hara (Orson Welles) in “The Lady from Shanghai” superior to the luring of the femme fatale
drinking, smoking and carrying a gun
phallic symbol
war experience Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) in “The Maltese Falcon”
Buzz (William Bendix) in “The Blue Dahlia” 2.3 Male Bonding male-male relationships, either as friendships or as homosexuality
prominent status during the time of WWII Walter Neff (Fred McMurray) and Barton Keynes (Edward Robinson) in “Double Indemnity”
can only reinstate their original relation after Neff’s confession SOURCES The Noir Family:
Blaser, John J. & Blaser, Stephanie L.M. “NO PLACE FOR A WOMAN: THE FAMILY IN FILM NOIR.” Film Noir Studies. Web. 2008. <http://www.filmnoirstudies.com/essays/no_place.asp>. Dec, 16th 2012.
Noir Femininity:
The Paperback Oxford English Dictionary (2005). Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press. | The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (2009). Pearson Education Limited, Langenscheidt. | Gates, Philippa (1973): Detecting women: gender and the Hollywood detective film. New York, State University of New York Press. | Blaser, John J. and Stephanie L.M. Blaser (2008): The Femme Fatale. Film Noir Studies, 2008. Web. 6 Jan. 2013. <http://www.filmnoirstudies.com/essays/no_place5.asp>. | Blaser, John J. and Stephanie L.M. Blaser (2008): The Good Woman.. Film Noir Studies, 2008. Web. 6 Jan. 2013. <http://www.filmnoirstudies.com/essays/no_place6.asp>. | Blaser, John J. and Stephanie L.M. Blaser (2008): The Marrying Type. Film Noir Studies, 2008. Web. 6 Jan. 2013. <http://www.filmnoirstudies.com/essays/no_place7.asp>.
Noir Masculinity:
Blaser, John J., and Stephanie L. M. Blaser. Film Noir and the Hard-Boiled Detective Hero. Film Noir Studies, 2008. Web. 4 Jan. 2013. <http://www.filmnoirstudies.com/essays/detective_hero.asp>. | The Blue Dahlia. Dir. George Marshall. Perf. Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, and William Bendix. Paramount Pictures, 1946. Film. | Jensen, L. M. Masculinity in Film Noir. American Studies Program, University of Virginia, 2002. Web. 4 Jan. 2013. <http://xroads.virginia.edu/~UG03/jensen/Noir/fallguys.html>. | Krutnik, Frank. In a Lonely Street. Film Noir, Genre, Masculinity. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. | The Lady from Shanghai. Dir. Orson Welles. Perf. Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, and Everett Sloane. Columbia Pictures, 1947. Film. | Macek, Carl, and Alain Silver. “The Blue Dahlia.” The Film Noir Encyclopedia. Ed. Alain Silver et al. New York: Overlook Duckworth, 2010. 52. Print. | Passafiume, Andrea. The Blue Dahlia. Turner Classic Movies. Web. 4 Jan. 2013. <http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/69206/The-Blue-Dahlia/articles.html>. | Silver, Alain, James Ursini, and Paul Duncan, ed. Film Noir. Köln: Taschen, 2012. Print. | Ursini, James. “The Lady from Shanghai.” The Film Noir Encyclopedia. Ed. Alain Silver et al. New York: Overlook Duckworth, 2010. 173-174. Print.
Pictures and Videos in the Presentation:
1 http://doctormacro.com/Images/Stanwyck,%20Barbara/Annex/Annex%20-%20Stanwyck,%20Barbara%20(Double%20Indemnity)_02.jpg | 2 http://doctormacro.com/Images/Andrews,%20Dana/Annex/Annex%20-%20Andrews,%20Dana%20(Laura)_01.jpg | 3 http://doctormacro.com/Images/Cotten,%20Joseph/Annex/NRFPT/Annex%20-%20Cotten,%20Joseph%20(Shadow%20of%20a%20Doubt)_NRFPT_08.jpg | 4 http://doctormacro.com/Images/MacMurray,%20Fred/Annex/Annex%20-%20MacMurray,%20Fred%20(Double%20Indemnity)_01.jpg | 5 http://www.filmnoirstudies.com/essays/images/killers.jpg | 6 http://doctormacro.com/Images/Loy,%20Myrna/Annex/Annex%20-%20Loy,%20Myrna%20(Shadow%20of%20the%20Thin%20Man)_01.jpg | 7 http://www.filmnoirstudies.com/essays/images/pitfall.jpg | 8 http://doctormacro.com/Images/MacMurray,%20Fred/MacMurray,%20Fred%20(Double%20Indemnity)_01.jpg | 9 http://doctormacro.com/Images/Bogart,%20Humphrey/Annex/Annex%20-%20Bogart,%20Humphrey%20(Maltese%20Falcon,%20The)_02.jpg | 10 http://doctormacro.com/Images/Hayworth,%20Rita/Annex/NRFPT/Annex%20-%20Hayworth,%20Rita%20(Lady%20From%20Shanghai,%20The)_NRFPT_01.jpg | 11 youtube.com/watch?v=Qay6OgDXfT0 | 12 http://images3.cinema.de/imedia/0933/2100933,vADbWDL43NRAF3Y53Z1Pp1Z76LkGhMHep_p_6W7601FwpWgi6UYEvgJgPeOS3+TzP7qqwCcLyODdR79920XjOw==.jpg | 13 youtube.com/watch?v=1pN1iGXM1r4 | 14 http://doctormacro.com/Images/MacMurray,%20Fred/Annex/NRFPT/Annex%20-%20MacMurray,%20Fred%20(Double%20Indemnity)_NRFPT_02.jpg | 15 http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51w4cI8B88L.jpg | 16 http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CO0i%2BgVbL.jpg Looking for the complete Noirs?
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