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Film Noir Neo-Noir

Author: university-of-kansas-student

Post on 21-Jan-2015



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Film NoirNeo-Noir

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• According to Todd Erickson “New type of noir film...a contemporary rendering of the film noir sensibility” (Style, movement, etc.)

• Can be classified as a genre

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• 1959-1966 “Post-Noir”

• 1967-1976 “Modernist Neo-Noir”

• 1981-2000 “Postmodern Neo-Noir”

• 1981- Term “Neo-Noir” introduced

• (Not consistent but sporadic)

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Touch of Evil (1958)

• Last classic Film Noir

• Orson Wells

• “Odds Against Tomorrow” is another film that is considered an end to Film Noir

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BackgroundThe French Connection

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French Crime Films 1950’s

• Most significant developments of noir tradition occur in France in the ’50’s

• Filmmakers attracted to the post-war American Crime thrillers

• These in turn become influential (particularly in the U.S)

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French Noir Films ’50’s

• Touchez pas au grisbi (Jacques Becker, 1954)

• Les Diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot- 1954- Influenced Hitchcock’s Pyscho”

• Rififi- Jules Dasssin (1955)

• Bob le flambeur (Jean-Pierre Melville- 1955)

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French Nouvelle vague (new


• Filmmakers conscious of American crime films (particularly “B” films)

• Experimental filmmaking style

• Shoot the Piano Player (Truffaut, 1960)

• Breathless (Godard, 1959)

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American Neo-Modernist Cinema

• Hollywood Studio system collapsing in the 1960’s

• Production costs exceeded revenues 2:1

• Many Hollywood films still aimed at a general “family” audience (action/adventures/musicals)

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American Neo-Modernism

• New, younger directors emerge in the 1960’s

• The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)

• Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)

• Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969)

• MPAA Ratings System- 1968

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American Neo-Modernism

• Frederic Jameson claims that these films display the “great modernist thematics of alienation, anomie, solitude, social fragmentation and isolation.”

• Representative noir thematics

• Filmmaking change/new wave influence

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Modernist Neo-Noir1960’s and 1970’s

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Modernist Neo-Noir

• Generic Transformation

• Revisionism

• Cultural myths are subjected to critique exposing them as defunct, inadequate, and destructive

• Anti-traditionalism in film noir lent itself to a critique of American Values

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Critical Writings on Film Noir

• Raymond Durgnat “Paint it Black: the family Tree of Film Noir” (1970)

• Paul Schrader “Notes on Film Noir” (1972)

• Janey Place and Lowell Peterson “Some Visual Motifs of Film Noir” (1974)

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Point Blank• John Boorman, 1967

• Critics argue that it is the beginning of Neo-Noir

• Stars Lee Marvin- Character’s name is Walker (shot point blank at the beginning of the film)

• Using Alcatraz as a drop off

• Wants revenge on his partner

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Historical Events

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‘60s and 70’s

• Political Assassinations

• Vietnam War

• Civil Rights Movement

• New Left Student Movement

• Feminist Movement

• Water Gate Scandal

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Neo-Noir Technology Advancements and


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• color and angels (wide) will become a standard in film

• replaces black and white

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Technological Advances

• Color film stock- color becomes the norm in the mid 1960’s

• Define reality

• increased reliance on natural light and faster shot set-ups

• Kodak 5293 high speed film (1982)

• Film Noir look of high-contrasts could now be achieved with color film

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Neo-Noir RemakesAnd Adaptations

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• Farewell My Lovely (1975)- Murder My Sweet (1944)

• Thieves Like Us (1974)- They Live by Night (1950)

• DOA (1988)- D.O.A (1949)

• The Underneath (1995)- Criss Cross (1949)

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• The Long Goodbye (1973)

• The Killer Inside Me (1976)

• After Dark, My Sweet (1990)

• The Grifters (1990)

• L.A. Confidential (1997)

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• Color cinematography

• Generic transformation (can do things that production codes limited)

• stylistic experimentation (New Wave influence in the late 60’s/early ’70’s

• More adult themes and subject matter (influence of the MPAA rating system)

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Male Character Types

• Impotent private eye

• Chinatown (1974)

• the lone investigator and political paranoia

• The Conversation (1974)

• the rouge cop

• Dirty Harry (1971)

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Impotent private eye

• Klute (1971)

• Hickey and Boggs (1972)

• Shamus (1973)

• The Long Goodbye (1973)

• The Yakuza (1975)

• The Late Show (1977)

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Impotent private eye (’70’s)

• “I gotta get a bigger gun, I can’t hit anything” (Hickey and Boggs)

• Characters are adrift in a society that no longer has a place for them and only survive because they are too unimportant to the matter

• Aren’t responsible to solve cases happens by circumstance