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Film Genres Film Noir. What is film noir? Originally films made in the late 40s and early 50s, shot in black-and-white and involving the issue of urban.

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Presentation on theme: "Film Genres Film Noir. What is film noir? Originally films made in the late 40s and early 50s, shot in black-and-white and involving the issue of urban."— Presentation transcript:

1 Film Genres Film Noir

2 What is film noir? Originally films made in the late 40s and early 50s, shot in black-and-white and involving the issue of urban crime and order Film Noir (black film) was applied to these films by a French critic, Nino Franck in 1946

3 What is film noir? In general film noir share two interrelated narrative-cinematic aspects Films are cinematically darker and more aesthetic Thematically more pessimistic and brutal in representing American urban life

4 What is film noir? 1946 – the year when film noir was born Darker in theme and visual style Robert Siodmak’s The Killers (1946) Howard Hawkes, The Big Sleep (1946)

5 What is film noir? Alfred Hitchcock, Notorious (1946) George Marshall, Blue Dahlia (1946)

6 What is film noir? Tay Garnett, The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) Robert Montgomery, Lady in the Lake

7 What is film noir? What these 1946 films have in common Crime and criminal actions Investigation and revelation Illicit sexual relationship Intensive psychological impact on the viewer Dark tone in narrative and image Distinctive visual styles – low-key lighting and high-contrast photography; abstract and geometrical composition

8 What is film noir? Robert Siodmak’s The Killers – plot summary In the small town of Brentwood, New Jersey lives an unassuming man known as Pete Lund, nicknamed the Swede. Only having lived in Brentwood for a year, not many in town know his background. Two thugs arrive in town stating openly that they are going to kill the Swede. Upon hearing the news, the Swede gives up, saying that he can no longer keep running.

9 What is film noir? Following the murder of the Swede, John Reardon investigates on behalf of the insurance company in which the Swede had a small life insurance policy. In finding and speaking to people connected to the Swede's past, Reardon learns that he was an ex-boxer really named Ole Andersen. His murder seems to be connected to a woman by the name of Kitty Collins, who the Swede loved and would do anything for and who had criminal associates.

10 What is film noir? When Reardon connects the Swede to an unsolved robbery from six years earlier which in turn is connected to the Swede's murder, Reardon, against the wishes of his superior, decides to try and retrieve the moneys from the robbery and in turn catch the killers. He has the assistance of Lieutenant Sam Lubinsky, an old friend of the Swede's. To find the money, Reardon has to find Kitty Collins, who seems to be the person in the middle of everything.

11 Origins of film noir The conventions of Film noir are based on and linked to a variety of cinematic, narrative and ideological developments in the 1930s and 40s. The gangster and urban crime films set in the Depression era

12 Origins of film noir Darker mood of anxiety and fear of the Depression era was reflected in the horror film such as Frankenstein (1931) informed the darker vision of film noir.

13 Origins of film noir German Expressionism films – highly abstract and painterly designs, high-contrast black-and-white photography, dark mood, and horror quality, brought to Hollywood by German filmmakers in exile in USA Determining factors of film noir in subject matters and visual styles Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

14 F.W. Murnau, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922)

15 Karl Heinz Martin, From Morn to Midnight (1922) Murunau, Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Douglas Sirk, E.A. Dupont, German emigrés brought to Hollywood new visual idioms

16 Origins of film noir Technological development in the 30s and 40s Improvement of Panchromatic film stock and camera lens More flexibility in lighting and depth of field Chiaro-scruo lighting – only portions of the scree lit and the remainder in darkness.

17 Origins of film noir Low contrast image in which harsh contrast between light and darkness is eliminated by multiple light sources lighting a scene. It is used in comedies and sitcoms.

18 Origins of film noir High Key Lighting Multiple light sources create low-contrast and slightly overexposed images Film stock does not have to be fast and exposure does not have to be long – sharply focused & crisp

19 Origins of film noir Low-key lighting Very bright, near white lights lighting only parts of a scene create high-contrast images – brightly lit parts with black shadows Needs fast film stock

20 Origins of film noir Overhead lighting An application of low-key lighting A strong single overhead light source create a dramatic image Need fast film stock

21 Origins of film noir Hazy Back-lighting Another application of low-key lighting A strong rim light faces into the camera and create ‘volumetric haze’ and eliminate lighting contrast

22 Film Noir Crime, intrigue, and metal anxiety are depicted in these lighting techniques. Settings are dark and heavily shadowed urban milieu

23 Film Noir Orson Welles’s A Touch of Evil (1958) one of the last classic film noirs Mexican narcotics officer investigates the murder of a building contractor in a car bomb explosion. He soon discovers that the American police captain in charge of the investigation is associated with a drug ring.

24 Film Noir as a Postwar Genre Transformations in cultural and social attitudes after WWII Wartime experience of violence, death and disaster – darker and more pessimistic world vision and dark tone of the film Millions of men fighting overseas and millions of women pressed into workforce – changing views of sexuality and marriage ‘Return to normalcy’ did not materialize after GI’s homecomings

25 Film Noir as a Postwar Genre Traditional masculine redeemer hero and domesticating heroine are replaced by new other character types - anxiety filled male hero, seductress, femme noire or femme fatale, who preys upon the hero

26 Film Noir as a Cinematic Style Film noir is not a genre but a film style ‘Because film noir was first of all a style, because it worked out its conflicts visually rather than thematically … it was able to create artistic solutions to sociological problems.’ Paul Schrader Noir style has been adapted in many genres

27 Film Noir as a Cinematic Style One of many ‘noir SF’ SF with noir style Ridley Scott, Bladerunner (1982) Terry Gilliam, Brazil (1985)

28 Film Noir as a Cinematic Style Romance film noir is twisted, shocking melodrama featuring femme noir or fatale and self-destruction Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950) Robert Altman’s Thieves Like Us (1974)

29 Film Noir as a Cinematic Style Documentary style noir Crime or intrigue taken place in dark urban areas is shown in semi-documentary style and often filmed on location featuring real events Alfred Hitchcock’s The Wrong Man (1956) Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole (1951)

30 Film Noir as a Cinematic Style Noir naturally branches out into Horror genre because of images stirring among the audience strong mental anxiety and fear Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) Alan Parker’s Angel Heart (1987)

31 Film Noir as a Cinematic Style Even some musicals adapt film noir cinematic styles Vincent Minelli’s Band Wagon (1953) Herbert Ross’s Pennies from Heaven (1981)

32 Film noir and Other Genres It is not only film noir style that has been reused in films of other genres Modernist samurai films are frequently associated with film noir – crime, intrigue, violence, dark mood, anxiety effects, sexual seduction as well as noir visual effects

33 Film noir and Other Genres Masahiro Shinoda’s modernist samurai film, Assassination (1964) Historical drama about a masterless samurai leader of a group of assassins, who changes his allegiances between the militias of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Emperor, in the last turbulent years of the Tokugawa period.

34 Violence and intrigue

35 Dark mood and sense of anxiety

36 Femme noir and seductive women

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