The Black Dahlia Film Poster Analysis

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The Black Dahlia Film Poster Analysis

  1. 1. The Black Dahlia Film Poster Analysis Katie Charman
  2. 2. The Poster:
  3. 3. The ImageThe main image of the poster is of awoman lying down. From the dropof blood on her lips and the whitelight coming from underneath her,you get the idea that she is dead.The white flower coming from theleft hand side of the poster couldsymbolise she is in a coffin.The colour red stands out in thetitles and from her lips, this suggeststhat the film is about a murderwhich fits in with the film-noir crimegenre.Most of the posters background is ablock black colour. This againrepresents the idea of murder andno emotion as there isn’t muchcolour.
  4. 4. The TextThe text on the film poster is all the samefont and the names at the top areidentical in size and colour. With most ofthe actors mentioned on the poster, theyare well known for their surnames andthis is why the surname has been made abigger font size so that the audience canassociate the film with them.The film title ‘The Black Dahlia’ is again inthe same serif font. The letter ‘K’especially tails off at the end which couldrepresent blood dripping too. As the mainfemale character was an aspiring actress,the font choice may have been chosen tofit in with the idea of fame and glamour.
  5. 5. The NarrativeAs the colouring of the poster is mostlyblack and white, the film-noir genre isquite evident.The way the character has her eyesopen and is looking up at somethinggives the sense that she is an innocentcharacter which again fits in with thefemme fatal character that is usually amain focus in the film-noir genre.As the film poster uses a darkbackground and has the blackcolouring, the film hints at having asinister or dark note to it such as amurder.The drop of blood falling from her lipsignifies that a murder may havehappened too and as it is fallingdownwards it could be signified asthough she herself lost control and wasfalling apart.
  6. 6. ColourThe colour black is very prominent withinthe poster as it takes up most of thebackground, this could signify the deaththat surround the film. It also couldsignify negativity and the sad nature ofhow the female character died.The colour of the woman’s face is quitepale and light in contrast to the rest ofthe poster which could represent herinnocence in the way that she died. Asthe pale colouring then transgresses intothe bottom light of the poster it couldagain signify her death.Red is also a prominent colour within theposter and as it is spread out in thin linesit could represent the blood as it is amurder film. It may also representpassion and lust due to the showbizstoryline.
  7. 7. The Camera DistanceThe picture of the female character is a close up profile shot of her face. Her featuresare prominent as there is an outline, however as they appear to be a smooth line,this adds a certain softness to her character, highlighting again that she is innocent.By using a close up it allows emotion to be shown, in this image especially, thecharacter appears to have quite a blank expression looking upwards which links backto the storyline of her being an aspiring actress.
  8. 8. The AnchorageAs the film poster doesn’t give a lot away aboutthe films storyline , the use of the anchorage“Inspired by the most notorious unsolved murderin Californian history” allows the audience to seethat the film will be in the crime genre and basedaround a murder.The way it is placed directly underneath the filmstitle once again helps explain what the title means.The writing is in the same serif font which links itwith the rest of the poster and creates a ‘look’ forthe film. As the writing is all in capitals and thesame height, it adds a serious note and couldperhaps have links to a crime document.
  9. 9. LightingWithin film-noir films, Chiaroscurolighting is usually used in order tocreate the well-know silhouetteeffect.For ‘The Black Dahlia’, the one lightsource is coming from the bottom ofthe poster and is extremely light.Usually when light is shown, peoplelook into it as a way out, however asthe light is shown to be behind herin the poster, it could represent thatthere is no way out for her.The use of the chiaroscuro lightingalso creates the silhouette effectaround her face which makes herfeatures stand out, this is typical ofa film-noir film and so fits into thegenre.
  10. 10. The LayoutThe layout of the poster is layered so thateach image of piece of text falls on top ofeach other.As the image, title and production text isall at the bottom of the poster, it could betrying to make the audiences focus be onthe females face.The black block of background couldrelate to the storyline, as in the film it isbased on a group of detectives trying towork out how a woman was murdered.The black could represent the unknownand how they don’t know how she died.The fact the female is looking into thedarkness could also represent that thereis something she knows and that we as anaudience will perhaps find out in the film.
  11. 11. The Written TextAt the bottom of the poster comes the block of written text which tells the audience theproduction companies, who the film is aimed at and other important names in production.For the Black Dahlia the most clear writing is “The new thriller from the director of theUntouchables and Scarface” this shows that there may be a link between these films and othersthat have been made before which once again highlights the idea that this film explores a crimestoryline.As the films certificate is ‘Rated R’ this translates to the audience having to be aged 17+, thisimmediately highlights the fact that this film will be discussing and incorporating adult themeswhich is typical of a film-noir genre.

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