Saturday, 23 January 2010

Film Noir - An introduction

Film noir is a term used in the cinematic world to describe, primarily, classy Hollywood dramas based on crime. The era of film noir is associated with a low-key black and white visual that was regarded to be at its height during the 1940's to the late 1950's. The term 'film noir' meaning 'black film' in french, is said to have originated from German expressionism cinematography, and was first used by french critic Nina Frank in 1946. Movies that are 'film noir' almost always contain the element of murder, generally fuelled by a jealous or greedy character. Flashbacks are most common in this specific type of film, sometimes which obscure or disrupt from the narrative. First person narration is a typical 'noir' trait, with the voice over telling the story of past events which have lead up to their current state or situation they find themselves in when providing information of what has previously happened. The use of contrasting tones of black and white create a particularly cliche effect when objects of the mise-en-scene are inlcuded such as blinds, which may act as a connotating message of entrapment or that the character in focus will soon find themselves encarcerated in a prison cell.

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