What is Noir? - Video Essay -

What is Noir? – Video Essay –

when I say noir what do you think of if you don't know what it is here's some historical context in 1946 French critic nino frank described a specific style of filmmaking heavily active in the 1940s and 50s as noir films like The Maltese Falcon The Big Sleep and double identity set the score for the quintessential examples it's often identified as a collection of visual aspects like smoke black and white and shadowy atmospheres this is such an inappropriate way to look at it because it actually goes much deeper than what you see the most substantial definition of noir is definitely dark but also that is moral ambiguity leaves the constant sense of tread it's crime fiction based style will allow you to think it's going to have a happy ending and then throw you into a dark and inescapable situation the French term literally means black film here's another reason why they usually take place at night our lead protagonist is bitter about the world around them and maybe not always very pleasant to be around they might often be isolated from others because of the circumstance they've gotten himself into they could be a detective who must break the law to achieve their goal and could be described as an antihero they fall for the girl and get themself into a huge mess simply because they couldn't resist her seductive temptation there's usually a femme fatale whose motives are to live dangerously it's all about the chase if her emotions aren't intense then they aren't worth it she'll likely betray early protagonists for her own selfish reasons she'll just as soon kill you as kiss you she'll often have a jealous husband or another man to fight over how about neo noir it can be a bit more difficult to identify it's a similar genre but with updated themes – classic noir films classic noir often begin with a dead body it's primarily relevant to crime fiction what's ridiculous puppets we are what a gross little stage we dance revolves around the classic noir style which might often come without black and white jacking down the murderer tracking down the money killing someone or revenge now to avoid confusion any film that just has these things which is a lot does not make it neo noir it's like saying Lord of the Rings is simply a war film it has war but it's more of a fantasy adventure see the difference there isn't exactly an essential list of things that are required to be in noir but these things are much easier to point out and give an idea of how to identify it there's a lot of debate on whether or not in Navarre is actually a genre although it's hard to deny that it is a very distinct style david fincher style is very reminiscent of it even in some films that don't exactly or directly identify as noir you can also see this throughout the Coen brothers work let's be honest here the Big Lebowski is more comedy than anything but there's definitely these dark themes and aspects that we can see the Dark Knight has even been claimed as a neo noir overall we can agree it's a superhero film but again not all films have to trap themselves inside a single particular genres cage neo noir is definitely one of if not my favorite genre so when it film looks like this that is the only thing that makes it into our oh you betcha yeah yeah thank you

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