Essay Film Noir

Essay Film Noir-52
But the film noir is historically determined by particular circumstances; that’s why latter-day attempts at film noir, or so-called neo-noirs, almost all feel like exercises in nostalgia.(Otto Preminger, 1944), where David Raksin’s intoxicating theme-tune becomes a haunting melody for the audience, plunging us into the content of a dream, just as the film’s detective protagonist is deliriously immersed in the mystery of the title character.

But the film noir is historically determined by particular circumstances; that’s why latter-day attempts at film noir, or so-called neo-noirs, almost all feel like exercises in nostalgia.(Otto Preminger, 1944), where David Raksin’s intoxicating theme-tune becomes a haunting melody for the audience, plunging us into the content of a dream, just as the film’s detective protagonist is deliriously immersed in the mystery of the title character.

The important point is to note its recurrence and the diversity with which the trope is deployed.

‘Suffering In Rhythm’ is a meditation upon this trope and the range of potential meanings and affects it is invested with, both in classic noir narratives and in ‘modern’ noir narratives which, since the 1970s, have become far more self-conscious about such tropes and conventions.

But the directors who worked in film noir didn’t use that term to describe their work.

One searches in vain for the term in the interviews with some of the genre’s crucial creators—Otto Preminger, Don Siegel, Fritz Lang, Robert Aldrich, and Edgar G.

Holmes traces the fascination with these Hollywood crime dramas of the forties through the work of other French critics of the postwar years: It is clear that one of the key elements in the welcome given by the French critics to the American “films noirs” was the feeling that serious European influence lay behind their modern American settings and panache.

Essay Film Noir Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research Essay

Later commentators have pointed to stylistic influences from prewar German films, but for the 1946 critics the primary consideration was not one of style.But I do think that she’s right to call attention to the historical specificities on which the genre (if, indeed, it’s a genre) thrived.Many of the crime dramas of the nineteen-thirties had much to do with the Depression; those of wartime reflected the war (though it’s a critical temptation to read the war into any film contemporaneous with it), and those that came after the war—well, by definition, they reflect postwar life.But the essay also responds to Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s ideas about the significance of the musical ‘refrain’ as a kind of affective shelter under which the shaping of identity takes place while remaining open to alteration and transformation.In effect, ‘the refrain’ constitutes an affecto-rhythmic tendency in all living things that enables us to negotiate the myriad environments, interactions, and becomings of our lived experience.Weaving together clips from relevant films, the video essay looks at the topic in relation to two different qualities of human experience which the ‘haunting melody’ tends to address in noir: the psychological on the one hand; the affective on the other.(Of course, psychology and affect are mutually informative elements of human experience, and certainly not so distinct as to prohibit the operations of one and the other at the same time.) Significantly, the essay draws inspiration from the work of Theodor Reik and his study, .And then there’s the war, with its terrors and disruptions.The four movies that Nino Frank cites in his primordial 1946 essay are “The Maltese Falcon,” “Laura,” “Murder, My Sweet,” and “Double Indemnity.” All of them were made during the Second World War (though “The Maltese Falcon” was made in 1941, before the United States was involved in combat).Welles (who was also a director of film-noir classics, including “The Lady from Shanghai”) gave directors, including his venerable elders, a sense that anything was possible, even in Hollywood.The sudden weakening of studio control over production (the result of court battles) gave independent producers, many of whom were very sympathetic to artistically original directors, a much freer hand.

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