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Film Noir

Thomas Schatz, Hollywood Genres, Chapter 5

Shannon Collins

on 25 March 2013

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Transcript of Film Noir

Film Noir Stylistic Characteristics Thematic Characteristics Generic Characteristics American Expressionism technical, narrative, & ideological development of the 1930's & early 1940's and some technological advances allowing greater manipulation of light and depth of field. Like chiaroscuro. Both
more realistic, and
more abstract The American Dream?
increasing alienation
sexual confusion

the Cold War existentialism Freudian psychology "black film" darker and compositionally more abstract
impressionistic lighting
surreal environment created through set design and camera work clearest manifestation of American Expressionism in the marriage of film noir style and the hardboiled detective story let's call this style . . . countercurrent of anxiety and alienation
violent, sexually confused male characters (in supporting roles)
femme noire style determines substance
mood overwhelms plot
narrativity emerges as narrative
form becomes inseparable from content an artistic solution to sociological problems? Evolution of a Style The Hard-Boiled Detective VS. The Classical Detective a cultural middle-man disordered society instinct rather than deduction survives by violence solutions tentative & incomplete a street existentialist cultivated wit scientific method -- deduction part of well-ordered society conflicts between value systems
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