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Film Noir Charles Higham and Joel Greenberg ‘Noir Cinema’ (1968) And Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity (1944)

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Presentation on theme: "Film Noir Charles Higham and Joel Greenberg ‘Noir Cinema’ (1968) And Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity (1944)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Film Noir Charles Higham and Joel Greenberg ‘Noir Cinema’ (1968) And Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity (1944)

2 Noir ambience: a dark street in the early morning hour; a dark street washed with a sudden downpour; haloes on lamps; a neon sign across the street; a man waiting to murder or be murdered Darkness and Violence

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4 Noir ambience: a dark street in the early morning hour; a dark street washed with a sudden downpour; haloes on lamps; a neon sign across the street; a man waiting to murder or be murdered Darkness and Violence

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6 Noir ambience: a dark street in the early morning hour; a dark street washed with a sudden downpour; haloes on lamps; a neon sign across the street; a man waiting to murder or be murdered Darkness and Violence

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8 Noir ambience: a dark street in the early morning hour; a dark street washed with a sudden downpour; haloes on lamps; a neon sign across the street; a man waiting to murder or be murdered Darkness and Violence

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10 Noir ambience: a dark street in the early morning hour; a dark street washed with a sudden downpour; haloes on lamps; a neon sign across the street; a man waiting to murder or be murdered Darkness and Violence

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12 Protagonists’ motives – greed, lust and ambition Their emotion – fear and anxiety

13 The roots of film noir in German and French Romantic films in the 1930s.

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15 Julien Duvivier’s Pépé le Moko (1937)

16 Fritz Lang (1890-1976) Austrian Robert Siodmak (1900-1973) German Otto Preminger (1905-1986) Austrian Billy Wilder (1906-2002) German

17 More Noir visions: train and station in Richard Curtiz’s The Unsuspected

18 Elevator for danger and security: Delmer Daves’s Dark Passage (1947)

19 Bars, large mirrors, piles of glasses, lamps, interrogation room, underpass, fog, mist, a man with raincoat whose color turned up and a hat pulled down, a woman in fur coast with a gun in its pocket. SOUNDTRACK: the minatory scores of Franz Waxman, Max Steiner, Miklós Rósa and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. SOUND EFFECT: scream; sob, cold hard voices, cry, the rapping of high heels, the shuffle of man’s feet;

20 Noir photography: Shadows, silhouette, and low- key lighting

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26 Hitchcock’s films in the 40s: are they noir films? Alida Valli in The Paradine Case as a femme fatale? Prison scenes are pure film noir?

27 Robert Siodmak, another maker of noir Phantom Lady (1944) New York heat in the summer evokes the sense of corruption and decay

28 Analyses of other Siodmak’s film noir Christmas Holiday (1944), The Suspect (1945), Conflict (1945), The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945) The Killers (1946) and Criss Cross (1949) were ‘less successful’. Were they? They are now generally considered as his best. Imdb ratings: The Killers 7.9/10 Criss Cross 7.6/10

29 Fritz Lang’s film noir Woman in the Window (1944) and Scarlet Street (1945) Otto Preminger’s film noir Laura (1944) and Fallen Angel (1945) Michael Curtiz’s film noir Mildred Pierce (1945) and The unsuspected (1947) Is Mildred Pierce a film noir or Curtiz its maker? ‘… it lacks one of the most essential ingredients: a hard- boiled anti-hero, unless one counts Veda (Ann Blyth).’ Joan Crawford: the Essential Biography

30 Analyses of Lewis Milestone’s film noir The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), The Damned Don’t Cry (1949-50) Analyses of Edmund Goulding’s film noir Nightmare Alley (1947) ‘… an archetypal American's rise and fall is neither a great movie nor even a classic noir’ The Village Voice

31 Billy Wilder Double Indemnity (1944) ‘… one of the highest summits of film noir, is a film without a single trace of pity and love.’

32 Tay Garnett’s Postman Always Rings Twice (1946): another great film noir but it was shot in full Californian sunlight and a high-key lighting. Day rather than night, light rather than shadow

33 Orson Welles’s The Lady from Shanghai (1948) features the most deadly femme fatale played by Rita Heyworth, a sex symbol of the 1940s.


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