Transcript Film Noir

American Cinema
The test is postponed to tomorrow
 Today – Film Noir Notes – begin movie #1
 Wednesday – Unit 3&4 test – Continue
Movie #1
 Thursday – Finish movie #1 – Begin movie
 Friday – Continue Movie #2
 Monday – Finish Movie #2 – start
 Tuesday – Film Noir due
Today – The Seven Wonders of Ancient Greece
Wednesday – Renaissance notes
Thursday – Start Romeo and Juliet
Friday – Finish Romeo and Juliet
Monday – turn in Romeo and Juliet reviews –
Renaissance visual art samples
Tuesday – Renaissance music samples
Wednesday – Practice samples – note cards for
test (3x5)
Thursday – Renaissance unit test
Friday – No school (Fall Break)
Film Noir
“Black Film”
“Dark Film”
The film noir genre was
born from crime films:
 audiences grew bored
with the criminal
 wanted more of a hero
during war times
 Lasted from 1945-ish
to 1950-ish (according
to traditionalists)
Some film noir
films have
criminals and
private eyes, but
not all private eye
or crime films are
film noir.
Darkness of the Setting
Mean, nasty places where anything can
happen at any moment
 Violence and crime occur often, usually
 Sex: strip clubs, bars, sultry women
 Cities are grimy, dirty places with lots of
Darkness of the Setting
 Fog obscures, makes things
unclear and unknown
 Fate, mystery, future
Casablanca (1942)
What Lies Beneath (2000)
 What lies under the water?
 Rarely can the audience see below
the surface of water
 Sometimes choppy and tumultuous
 Film
noir uses high contrast lighting with
lots of shadows.
 Sometimes props are the only source of
 This
is called low key lighting.
– Little key lighting (principle source of light)
– Mostly fill light (lights from side or back)
– Comedies & musicals use high key lighting to
create uniform light with little contrast
What do you see
for lighting in this
image of Bogart
from Casablanca
Notice the Brox Sisters
in 1929’s Singing in
the Rain. What do
you notice about the
Darkness of Humanity:
It’s a world of paranoia and entrapment
 Male protagonist feels trapped and
overwhelmed by a situation
 Chance plays a larger role than fate
 Heavy use of camera work to show
craziness and entrapment:
Bars or lines in front or behind character
Tight framing
Odd angles
Slow tracking shots
Backward tracking shots
Femme Fatale
A “dangerous woman” who traps or pulls the
male protagonist (usually a common, everyday
Joe) into a world of crime and danger
She is sexy, dangerous, often filled with “mad
love,” greed, or jealousy
Often, one or the other, maybe both, will die.
AKA – The Spider Woman
– Ensnares the hero in a web of danger, lies and
Postmodern Film Noir
Even though film noir died out, it still
– Small details have been taken from the
classics (symbols, lighting, characters)
– Some feel film noir must be black and
white, others feel that high contrast can
be achieved through vivid colors
Our Movies
 Casablanca
– 1942 – Michael Curtiz
 Chinatown – 1974 – Roman Polanski