Film Noir

Between which years were Film Noir films made? 

The Years of the Great Depression (1929-1931) to the start of the Cold War (1985-1991). Most films, generally speaking, were made between the years of 1940-1950.

Which country does Film Noir exemplify? why? 

Film Noir, reflecting aspects of worldly views from a mid-century America perspective. This was due to America undergoing a long period of strain and difficulties because of both the Great Depression and the Cold War.

Film Noir is the “son” of which film movement? Why would someone make this statement? 

Film Noir is the “son” of German Expressionism. This may be said as Film Noir was about the “dark self” and alienation in modern American city undergoing dilemmas revolving around the impact of the Great Depression.

List some of the elements of Film Noir

  • Notions of psychosis, criminality and paranoia.
  • Fled fascism
  • Leftist views
  • Nihilism

What is the difference between “emotional realism” and “crime realism”? 

Emotional realism is a representational quality in a narrative that is felt to be ‘true-to-life’ by audiences in terms of the enactment of recognisable subjective experiences. Whereas, Crime realism is a theory that tries to explain crime and its connections to social class, crime and social control.

In film what elements make for “style”? 

  • Lighting schemes
  • dark and light contrasts
  • low-angle and wide-angle shots
  • skewed or Dutch angle shots

“Film Noir is not a genre.” Explain this statement.

A genre is a category of art, music or literature. Therefore Film Noir is not a genre. Film Noir is simply, a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas.

“Working within the limits of the production code”. Explain this. 

This is referring to the Motion Picture Production Code. This was the set of industry moral censorship guidelines that governed the production of most United States motion pictures released by major studios from the 1930s  to the late 1960s. Thus, this statement is making reference to the act of following these moral censorship guidelines.

What is the “femme fatale”? 

An attractive or seductive woman, especially one who will ultimately cause distress to a man who becomes involved with her.

How could you label Chris Nolan’s film “Memento”? 

This is a prime example of Film Noir as it a American-made production that concerns itself with crime. The dramatic film although not being in black and white, arguably still has the impression of psychosis and indefinitely paranoia. Thus, I believe “Memento” is an example of Film Noir.


Examine how “Hard Boiled” is a film that uses elements from Film Noir. 

This film uses elements from Film Noir as it is in itself, an American crime-drama. It also utilises the same light scheme as most Film Noir movies, as the film is a black and white production. It  also consists of notions of Nihilism and criminality.








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