film+noir - Genre case study film noir Group of films that...

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Genre case study: film noir Group of films that first emerged during early 1940s-late 1950s. Some critics date classic noir period from The Maltese Falcon (1941) to Touch of Evil (1958). French critics coined term “film noir” (“black film”) in 1950s; saw similarly dark themes and aesthetics in post-WWII influx of U.S. films. Hollywood film industry did not call these “noirs,” since genre was coined in retrospect. Made as both A films and B films.
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Influences on film noir 1. German Expressionist cinema: Developed during Weimar Republic (1919- 1933); associated with post-WWI turmoil. Themes of madness, the grotesque, emotional repression, urban decay. Mise-en-scène reflects distressed emotional states of characters (low-key lighting, canted camera angles, exaggerated/distorted sets). Influenced U.S. horror genre before film noir.
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Influences (cont.) 2. 1930s gangster films: Gangster genre very popular during Depression.
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