FILM NOIR<br />French for “black film”<br />Typically a Hollywood drama with cynical attitudes and sexual motivations<br />Films dated from the early 1940s to the late 1950s<br />
STORYLINES<br />Literary influence from the American detective novel and crime fiction<br />Usually includes convoluted storylines, frequently involving flashbacks<br />Male protagonist usually wishes to elude his mysterious past and has to choose which path to take<br />
MOODS<br /> Film Noir is less a genre, per se, than it is a mood. They reflect the tensions and anxieties of the post world wars era. <br /> Generally, they featured: <br />Melancholy<br />Alienation<br />Bleakness<br />Disillusionment<br />Paranoia<br />
CHARACTERS<br />Central figure usually private eye or plain-clothes policeman<br />Hero is generally flawed, morally questionable, alienated<br />Criminal motivation often jealousy<br />Archetypes include femme fatale, hardboiled detective, corrupt policeman, jealous husband<br />Smoking is mandatory<br />
FEMME FATALE<br />French for “deadly” or “fatal” woman<br />Typically villainous, sometimes anti-heroine<br />Represents direct attack on traditional womanhood and nuclear family<br />An alluring, seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them to compromising, dangerous, and/or deadly situations<br />
APPEALING ELEMENTS OF FILM NOIR<br />The male/female relationship and archetypes<br />The femme fatale and female dichotomy<br />Mystery and crime<br />How American attitudes are expressed<br />
Limitations of Film Noir <br />Exaggerates; melodramatic<br />Encourages stereotypes<br />Often pessimistic and moody; presents the world as corrupt<br />Generally presents problems and corruption rather than solutions<br />
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