June 29, 2014

WHICH IGNORES THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE:

The 5 Essential Rules of Film Noir (Jonathan Crow,  June 5th, 2014, Open Culture)

Film Noir. When you think that phrase, the mind is immediately drawn to images of leggy ice queens, rumbled losers in fedoras, guns, neon and certain deadpan cynicism. Film Noir wasn't a self conscious movement in the way the French New Wave was. It wasn't a brand name like a Marvel superhero epic. But it did tap into something dark in the American postwar zeitgeist and became for a spell hugely popular. It also created some of the most unforgettable images in film history.

Film Noir hit its zenith in the late '40s, a time when veterans were returning home in droves after having witnessed unimaginable horrors. Under the weight of war trauma, men felt the brittle veneer of traditional masculinity - strong, stoic and dominant -- crack and crumble. Film Noir tapped into this anxiety. It's no accident that film scholars have called Film Noir the male weepy.

Above is a BBC documentary about the genre that lays out its rules. The movie features interviews with director Paul Schrader, cinematographer Roger Deakins and George Pelecanos who both wrote and produced The Wire.

The Hayes code didn't just limit sex and violence, it required that the bad guys not get away with it, which made all film noir heroes doomed from the moment they strayed off path.
Posted by at June 29, 2014 7:15 PM
  
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