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Characteristics of Film Noir - Essay Example

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Film noir was popularized in 1940s and 1950s and used faint, unstable visual style borrowed from European 1920s movies. Dramatic stories…
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Characteristics of Film Noir
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Characteristics of Film Noir

Download file to see previous pages... Obscurity and profound black scenery reflected the sinister face of American dream (Westcombe). Film noir or black film referred to characteristic movies well thought-out to be apprehension pictures, murder mystery or misdemeanor melodramas (Hirsch 71). The late 1940s saw Hollywood put in place standard style to depict cops, lawbreakers and private detectives universally.
Film noir also has a romantic recounting of love. Romantic narration is evident in films like “Postman Always Rings Twice” and “Double Indemnity” and creates the mood of an irretrievable past, a premeditated past and all-enveloping despondency (Hirsch 168).
Dialogue is an essential element of film noir and it is usually brusque. Dialogue is brought about by characters who contemptuously or straightforwardly express themselves (Hirsch 74). Film noir characters often make wisecracks like in Mitchum in 1947’s “Out of the Past”. The wisecracker’s daring witticism and angry replies are risky and hilarious. For the audience, these aspects are impressive since the character, despite knowing they have messed up, cares less solely depending on their fast tongues and wits for rescue.
Lighting in film noir scenes does not just involve light addition (Westcombe). Instead, lighting is used to form shadows which to the audience depict that danger prowls around the corner. Lighting in film noir should come from the sides as this varies the intensity across the person and creates depth to the subject through appending dimension (Hirsch 84). An exception of side lighting in film noir is during a criminal’s interrogation when the light can be bright directly on him or her. In addition, creation of sharp and discrete shadows is created using a single point of light. Sharp discrete shadows are used by audience to construct comprehensible mental images of the objects casting the shadows (85).
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