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Film Noir!

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Melanie Mehrer

on 21 October 2016

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Transcript of Film Noir!

Film noir films (mostly shot in gloomy grays, blacks and whites) thematically showed the dark and inhumane side of human nature with cynicism and doomed love, and they emphasized the brutal, unhealthy, seamy, shadowy, dark and sadistic sides of the human experience. An oppressive atmosphere of menace, pessimism, anxiety, suspicion that anything can go wrong, dingy realism, futility, fatalism, defeat and entrapment were stylized characteristics of film noir. The protagonists in film noir were normally driven by their past or by human weakness to repeat former mistakes.

'Film Noir'
was a genre of films that came out in the United States post World War II.
Women had been left to their independence during the war, many families lost husbands, brothers and sons. War brides were left to be single mothers. Many men returned home to women who hadn't remained faithful in their absence, and bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Pearl Harbour. America in the 50's was moody, untrusting and cynical. No one was interested in watching movies with happy endings, and so Film Noir was born.




and mood
Film Noir!

The Maltese Falcon
The females in film noir were either of two types:
dutiful, reliable, trustworthy

femmes fatales

mysterious, double-crossing, gorgeous, unloving, predatory, tough-sweet, unreliable, irresponsible, manipulative
Now watch this clip about
how to light film noir sets
. It only takes three lights and a dark setting. Think of ways you can do this yourself or in a group in preparation for your final project. Photos taken in the Film Noir genre are great references for drawing and painting. How can you work these ideas into your own work to create mood and suspense?
Fear, mistrust, loss of innocence, moral conflict, injustice, despair and paranoia
are strong themes in film noir. The
criminal, violent, misogynistic

perspectives of villains in film noir were a metaphor for society's evils.
There were rarely happy or optimistic endings in noirs.
Watch the famous crane shot from
Orson Welles
' 1958 film,
'Touch of Evil'
. How do you feel while watching this lovely scene of people out wandering on a typical evening? What are the conflicting moods? How does Orson Welles build the mood? Think of some adjectives to describe the scene.
Men in Film Noir
usually had to make a choice to follow the
femme fatale
or not. She would bully the doomed hero into committing a crime of passion coupled with twisted love.
All information in this Prezi summarised from: http://www.filmsite.org/filmnoir.html
Film still of Tippi Hedren from, Hitchcock's,
"The Birds"
When the major character was a detective or private eye, he would become tangled in a complicated
case that would lead to corruption, irresistible love and
death. The femme fatale crossed societies' lines with her
independent, smart, menacing
actions and would eventually bring both characters to a downfall.
image: http://filmmakeriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Hard-Shadows.jpg
Femmes Fatales in Film Noir:
image: http://classiccinemagold.com/tag/film-noir/
Some film noir sets were created to look like
"exotic" Turkey!
Watch the following clip from Orson Welles' "A Journey into Fear" and make note of strange additions to "life in Turkey" as you know it. Can you think of any films that you have seen recently that may have wrongly depicted what life is like in another country?
It's not unusual for film noir female characters or non-Causcasian characters to be depicted in costumes. Why do you think this might be so?
Image: http://silverscreenmodes.com/?tag=edith-head
Final Unit Preparation and Project for black and white:
We have been looking at different materials that artists typically use to plan their work in black and white: pencil, ink, charcoal. We've looked at value, ways of shading, composition, proportion, and now we will use Film Noir to look at composition. This next project should demonstrate all of the things you have learned about the elements of art and the principles of design.
You will need to:
a) You will be given a film still that you will need to recreate. Consider: Lighting, props, clothes, setting, mood. You can do this at school, or at home. Refer to the video on how to light film noir. Recreate this film still, in black and white, as perfectly as you can.

b) Next, create 5 film noir stills yourself and email them to me (See rubric).
These can be used as a reference for your finished piece OR, if combined with another media, can be your finished exhibition piece. NO SEXY SELFIES OR HORROR!
c) Create a reflection in your visual arts journal that describes what you were trying to achieve and how you did it. READ THE RUBRIC!
What kind of mood do you want to create? Choose a high lighted adjective from this presentation to create your own film noir moods.
Adjectives for Film Noir Project:
How do you feel while watching this lovely scene?
How does Orson Welles build the mood?
Think about the elements of art and design.
Think of some adjectives to describe the scene.
How can you work these ideas
into your own work to
create mood and suspense?
Create a film noir selfie on your phone! Phone editing tools are perfect for experimenting with film noir stills.
What we don't want:
Sexy selfies.

It's tempting when trying to recreate a femme fatale scene, but remember, your film Noir still should reflect an element of
story telling.
How does your image visually set the scene, create the mood, and build anticipation?
Horror-themed pics:

Holding a knife, covering your brother in fake blood and snapping a brolfie (brother selfie) is not the scope of this project. there is a big different between Horror and film noir. Film noir is much more subtle and intelligent. Tap into that with your photos. Challenge yourself in this exercise and reap the benefits through new concepts and possibilities in art all year long!
What is the difference between this picture and a selfie?
Pay attention to: The light source, the odd camera angle, and the way women are treated in this next clip. What mood does it create? How do you now view film Noir differently than the original audience in 1941?
Film Noir has a certain look we will recreate in photographs: deep shadows, glaring light, stark contrasts, wrenching changes in perspective meant to make us feel unsettled, moody, dark, cynical and brooding.
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