After WW2 film were frequently dark and depressing with a tendency for the bad guys to get away with their crimes. In the US the cold war was making its mark and the endings of these films was rarely happy or optimistic. The title was attributed to mainly black and white films with this particular gloomy tone or mood. Not so much a genre as a period of film history. The style was often influenced by German Expressionism or the French New Wave.
Films from German directors, such as F. W. Murnau, G. W. Pabst, and Robert Wiene, were noted for their stark camera angles and movements, chiaroscuro lighting and shadowy, high-contrast images - all elements of later film noir. Another cinematic origin of film noir was from the plots and themes often taken from adaptations of American literary works - usually from best-selling, hard-boiled, pulp novels and crime fiction by Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, or Cornell Woolrich. As a result, the earliest film noirs were detective thrillers.
A cynical, disillusioned male who gets caught up in the machinations of A seductive, double-dealing femme fatale, who manipulates him to become the fall guy. The women were often portrayed as such because their new found independence following the war was a threat to male power and supremacy. The males were often anti-heroes as they often had murky pasts and were not clean and clear cut innocents or good guys.
Innocence vs corruption Male vs female Good female vs Bad female Light vs dark Gullibility vs deceit and betrayal Law abiding vs law breaking
Storylines were often elliptical, non-linear and twisting. Narratives were frequently complex, maze-like and convoluted, and typically told with foreboding background music, flashbacks (or a series of flashbacks), witty, razor-sharp and acerbic dialogue, and/or reflective and confessional, first- person voice-over narration. Amnesia suffered by the protagonist was a common plot device, as was the downfall of an innocent Everyman who fell victim to temptation or was framed. Revelations regarding the hero were made to explain/justify the heros own cynical perspective on life.
Film noir films were marked visually by expressionistic lighting, deep-focus or depth of field camera work, disorienting visual schemes, jarring editing or juxtaposition of elements, ominous shadows, skewed camera angles (usually vertical or diagonal rather than horizontal), circling cigarette smoke, existential sensibilities, and unbalanced or moody compositions.
Settings were often interiors with low-key (or single- source) lighting, venetian-blinded windows and rooms, and dark, claustrophobic, gloomy appearances. Exteriors were often urban night scenes with deep shadows, wet asphalt, dark alleyways, rain-slicked or mean streets, flashing neon lights, and low key lighting. Story locations were often in murky and dark streets, dimly-lit and low-rent apartments and hotel rooms of big cities, or abandoned warehouses. [Often-times, war-time scarcities were the reason for the reduced budgets and shadowy, stark sets of B- pictures and film noirs.]
Film noir films (mostly shot in gloomy grays, blacks and whites) thematically showed the dark and inhumane side of human nature with cynicism and doomed love, and they emphasized the brutal, unhealthy, seamy, shadowy, dark and sadistic sides of the human experience. 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. The protagonists in film noir were normally driven by their past or by human weakness to repeat former mistakes.
Femmes Fatales: These women were always mysterious, duplicitous, double- crossing, gorgeous, unloving, predatory, tough -sweet, unreliable, irresponsible, manipulative and desperate. She would have transgressed societal norms with her independent and smart, menacing actions, which would bring her and the hero to their downfall. The other kind of woman was dutiful, reliable, trustworthy and loving.
10. A short film in its entirety, lasting approximately five minutes, which may be live action or animated or a combination of both, together with two of the following three options: a poster for the film; a radio trailer for the film; a film magazine review page featuring the film.
Do a Film Noir style film. You can do old fashioned or modern. You must chart all decisions you make. Start a new blog. Do some research or put your existing research onto it. Discuss the films we have seen as a class, watch some more on your own, and explain what elements you are going to borrow, preserve or change and how and why? Do your own still shots of typical conventions: camera angles, locations, characters, props etc
Decide on your group. Assign roles but ideally all should have a part in all aspects – one person is merely i/c! Work up a script – KEEP IT SIMPLE! Decide on costumes, props etc. Take care with guns!!!! Choose your actors!! Keep it to a very few reliable people! Decide on locations; think carefully about lighting: single source, low key... Work up a shooting schedule Do a story board – Pete Fraser recommends a post it variety so you can move the scenes around more easily. Decide on the music.
Film it Edit it Add music Add captions / titles / credits Remember production and distribution companies’ logos, year, classification. Present it to class for feedback Film evaluation questions: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? What have you learned from your audience feedback? How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
The production element and presentation of research, planning and evaluation may be individual or group work (maximum group size is four candidates). Where candidates have worked in a group, the evidence for assessment may be presented collectively but centres will still assess candidates on an individual basis for their contribution to aspects of the work, from planning, research and production to evaluation. Though there is no formal individual essay component for this unit, in the G325 examination, candidates will be asked to write about the work undertaken from this unit and from the AS coursework unit. It is therefore recommended that candidates undertake some form of written reflection as practice for the exam. G324 is marked and internally standardised by the centre and marks are submitted to OCR by a specified date, a sample is then selected for external moderation. The unit is marked out of a total of 100 marks: 20 marks for the planning and research and its presentation; 60 marks for the construction; 20 marks for the evaluation.
Each candidate will evaluate and reflect upon the creative process and their experience of it. Candidates will evaluate their work electronically, this evaluation being guided by the set of key questions below. This evaluation may be done collectively for a group production or individually. Examples of suitable formats for the evaluation are: A podcast DVD extras A blog A powerpoint In all cases, candidates should be discouraged from seeing the evaluation as simply a written essay and the potential of the format chosen should be exploited through the use of images, audio, video and links to online resources. Marks should be supported by teacher comments and may be supported by other forms such as audio or videotaped presentations.
One way of approaching these is for each member of the group to do a different poster appealing to different audiences. Research the different posters that are released for films, some are for different regions of the world some for different ages etc analyse their differences and reasons and how they appeal to their particular audiences. Then as a group explain who chose which audience and how they made it appeal and get some feedback! Likewise if you do the film magazine review page, each take a different magazine and analyse it before doing your own specifically for that magazine.
Good luck!You have until Easter to get this all completed itwill be moderated on the inset day on Monday 16th April 2012. The deadline for screening films to the class is Monday 19th March. Remember to keep you blogs up to date – everything goes on them!