Film Noir
Film Noir
 (literally 'black film or

cinema') was coined by
film critics (in 1946) who
noticed the trend of how
'dark', ...
Titles
 Titles of many film

noirs often reflect
the nature or tone of
the style and content
itself: Dark Passage
(1947),...
Cinematic Origins and Roots of
Classic Film Noir

European émigré film-makers fleeing

the war in Europe.
The style of G...
Lighting
Strong,

onedirectional lighting,
creating deep
shadows with heavy
contrast against the
lit areas
Crime Fiction
The plots and

themes often taken
from adaptations of
best-selling, hardboiled, crime
fiction by Raymond
Ch...
Historical Conetext
Classic film noir developed during
and after World War II, reflecting
the resultant tensions and
insec...
Themes
Melancholy, alienation, anxiety,
mistrust, loss of innocence,
bleakness, disillusionment,
disenchantment, pessimism...
Male Lead
Very often, a
film noir story
was developed
around a
cynical, hardhearted,
disillusioned
male character
Heros or Anti-Heros
Hard-Boiled
detectives, cops,
private eyes,
gangsters, killers
government
agents, petty
criminals,
mur...
Female Lead
… who
encountered a
beautiful but
promiscuous,
amoral, doubledealing and
seductive femme
fatale
Femme Fatale
She would use
her feminine wiles
and come-hither
sexuality to
manipulate him
into becoming the
fall guy - oft...
The Femme Fatale
The females in film noir were either of

two types - dutiful, reliable, trustworthy
and loving women;
o...
Betrayal
After a betrayal
she was often
destroyed, often
at the cost of
the hero's life
Story & Plot
Storylines were often complex, maze-

like including many double-crosses,
Typically told with dark, moody
b...
Style and Mood
Film noir films (mostly
shot in gloomy grays,
blacks and whites)
thematically showed the
dark and inhumane ...
Style and Mood
An oppressive atmosphere of

menace, pessimism, anxiety,
suspicion that anything can go
wrong, dingy reali...
Visual Look
Film noir films were marked

visually by extreme black and
white lighting, ominous
shadows, strange camera
an...
Settings and Place
Settings were often interiors with single-

source lighting, venetian-blinded
windows, and dark, claus...
Locations
Story locations were often in

dark streets, dimly-lit and
low-rent apartments, hotel
rooms, or abandoned
wareh...
The Maltese Falcon
 The first detective film

to use the shadowy,
nihilistic noir style in a
definitive way was the
pivot...
001 film noir introduction
001 film noir introduction
001 film noir introduction
001 film noir introduction
001 film noir introduction
001 film noir introduction
001 film noir introduction
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001 film noir introduction

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Trouble is My Business: Introduction to Film Noir

001 Film Noir: Introduction to Film Noir

A four PowerPoint set covering: Introduction to Film Noir, Characters and Themes, Place and Iconography, Plot and Story Structure. The course was supported by screenings of; The Rules of Film Noir (Documentary) and The Matese Falcon.

Largely stolen, ripped, copied, re-worked and edited from other sources these slide decks were produced to support an ESL Drama course on the topic of Film Noir. My apologies to those I have rampantly sampled but actually I feel I have drawn a number of sources together here to produce something which is more than the sum of its parts (fair use).

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001 film noir introduction

  1. 1. Film Noir
  2. 2. Film Noir  (literally 'black film or cinema') was coined by film critics (in 1946) who noticed the trend of how 'dark', downbeat and black the looks and themes were of many American crime and detective films released following World War II.
  3. 3. Titles  Titles of many film noirs often reflect the nature or tone of the style and content itself: Dark Passage (1947), The Naked City (1948), Fear in the Night (1947)
  4. 4. Cinematic Origins and Roots of Classic Film Noir European émigré film-makers fleeing the war in Europe. The style of German Expressionism of the 1920s and 1930s,
  5. 5. Lighting Strong, onedirectional lighting, creating deep shadows with heavy contrast against the lit areas
  6. 6. Crime Fiction The plots and themes often taken from adaptations of best-selling, hardboiled, crime fiction by Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett.
  7. 7. Historical Conetext Classic film noir developed during and after World War II, reflecting the resultant tensions and insecurities of the time period.
  8. 8. Themes Melancholy, alienation, anxiety, mistrust, loss of innocence, bleakness, disillusionment, disenchantment, pessimism, ambiguity, moral corruption, evil, guilt, desperation and paranoia.
  9. 9. Male Lead Very often, a film noir story was developed around a cynical, hardhearted, disillusioned male character
  10. 10. Heros or Anti-Heros Hard-Boiled detectives, cops, private eyes, gangsters, killers government agents, petty criminals, murderers.
  11. 11. Female Lead … who encountered a beautiful but promiscuous, amoral, doubledealing and seductive femme fatale
  12. 12. Femme Fatale She would use her feminine wiles and come-hither sexuality to manipulate him into becoming the fall guy - often following a murder.
  13. 13. The Femme Fatale The females in film noir were either of two types - dutiful, reliable, trustworthy and loving women; or femme fatales - mysterious, duplicitous, double-crossing, gorgeous, unloving, predatory, tough-sweet, unreliable, irresponsible, manipulative and desperate women.
  14. 14. Betrayal After a betrayal she was often destroyed, often at the cost of the hero's life
  15. 15. Story & Plot Storylines were often complex, maze- like including many double-crosses, Typically told with dark, moody background music, Razor-sharp and witty dialogue, Confessional, first-person voice-over narration.
  16. 16. Style and Mood Film noir films (mostly shot in gloomy grays, blacks and whites) thematically showed the dark and inhumane side of human nature and they emphasized the brutal, unhealthy, seamy, shadowy, dark and sadistic sides of the human experience.
  17. 17. Style and Mood An oppressive atmosphere of menace, pessimism, anxiety, suspicion that anything can go wrong, dingy realism, futility, fatalism, defeat and entrapment were stylized characteristics of film noir.
  18. 18. Visual Look Film noir films were marked visually by extreme black and white lighting, ominous shadows, strange camera angles, cigarette smoke, and unbalanced compositions.
  19. 19. Settings and Place Settings were often interiors with single- source lighting, venetian-blinded windows, and dark, claustrophobic, gloomy appearances. Exteriors were often urban night scenes with deep shadows, wet asphalt, dark alleyways, mean streets, and flashing neon lights.
  20. 20. Locations Story locations were often in dark streets, dimly-lit and low-rent apartments, hotel rooms, or abandoned warehouses.
  21. 21. The Maltese Falcon  The first detective film to use the shadowy, nihilistic noir style in a definitive way was the pivotal work of novice director John Huston in the mystery classic The Maltese Falcon (1941), from a 1929 book by Dashiell Hammett.

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