#5(DoubleIndemnity).outline - Lecture #5: Double Indemnity...

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Lecture #5: Double Indemnity and Film Noir Announcements: Best Years of Our Lives screening Thursday night, 7 pm; Wright, Adams readings for Monday; Double Indemnity discussed in next week's section I. The opening credits of Double Indemnity : ambiguous intimations • Trapped in the realm of the shadow: the murkiness of human psychology • The strong downbeat of the music: this is your fate calling • The double life of the antihero (Neff as perpetrator, Neff as victim; the repressiveness of conscience) II. Defining the genre of film noir • The question of ‘genre’ and history: why does a culture tell itself a new kind of story? • The narrative conventions of film noir (not always followed to the letter--exceptions abound) • Alienation expressed in the committing of a crime, usually murder; whydunnits not whodunnits • The refusal of a ‘happy ending’: a plot that moves “straight down the line” to its fateful conclusion • A dead man walking: the hard-boiled (yet somehow weak) male protagonist, trapped in a labyrinth that he didn’t design • A femme fatale (who’s in charge of her sexuality and dominates the film), counterposed to a ‘good woman’ (a minor character, often less believable, rarely sexualized) • The visual conventions of film noir (atmosphere often more compelling than plot in noir)
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This note was uploaded on 05/29/2008 for the course AMST 10 taught by Professor Saul during the Spring '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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#5(DoubleIndemnity).outline - Lecture #5: Double Indemnity...

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