Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What is Film Noir?

By jcstritt at clker.com
Film Noir is a style of movie making that flourished in the 1940's and 1950's. This artistic approach utilized definitive characteristics.

These films were full of heavy shadows that enhanced the mystery, intrigue, and suspense of the story. The dimness and unclear camera angles camouflaged the action and kept the viewer guessing.

The stories sometimes had unreliable narrators. These were crime tales that unfolded through the villain or the detective. They used flashbacks a lot. The atmosphere was gloomy.

The non-linear plot-line was used in some film noir to baffle the viewer. This type of plot line has to be done very well to work in a movie and is more easily adapted to use in a novel.


The "femme fatale" was a big part of these films. The term means fatal woman. This stock character would get her paramour into trouble using her feminine wiles, or lying to achieve her goal.

The protagonist in this film genre is a male detective, or a guy outside of the social norm, someone tough and alienated. He is a hard-boiled dude.

There is a crime involved in the story that is either a murder, robbery, or suicide. Murder and robbery together are prominent in these tales.

Those are the basic characteristics of film noir.

A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide

No comments:

Post a Comment