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Classical Noir Vs Neo Noir

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Film noir has a distinct style that is usually easy to spot and emulate. However, in this distinct style, there comes two time periods within the genre that can often have effect on the style. These time periods are classical noir and neo-noir. While noir films made in these time periods have the same set of narrative characteristics, there is also notable difference in characters and, in some cases, visuals. To understand the difference between classical noir and neo-noir, it is essential to look at the writings and analyses of those who have studied the genre thoroughly. First, Paul Schrader was the scholar who defined the three phases of “classical noir”. Those being The war-time phase, the post-war realism phase, and the “psychotic action” phase (Schrader 587-588). So, even the classical noir period is broken down into three different “phases.” The war-time period is characterized by private eyes and “lone wolf” detectives. The post-war realism phase is characterized more by its commentary on crime and corrupt authority. The “psychotic action” phase is characterized by a usually insane, psychotic protagonist (Schrader 587-588). Borde and Chaumeton, two French film scholars who coined the name “film noir”, also offered ideas on what a “classical noir” is. The two write that “the presence of constant crime” is a characteristic of classical noir that is present in and throughout noir films (Borde and Chaumeton 19). Like Schrader, Borde and Chaumeton agree that authority
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