Film Noir and Neo Noir Themes Found in Double Indemnity and Chinatown

890 Words Feb 25th, 2018 4 Pages
Inspired by German expressionism, the genre developed around the time of World War II when musical and comedies were in bloom. But due to the war, people grew weary of the optimism and humour in these films, thus causing the popularity of film noir to slowly grow. Film noir reflected the issues people at the time were going though; fear and paranoia took over the hearts of these people. The story often revolves around an anti-hero, whom usually is a wise cracking tough guy. He would encounter a femme fatale, who is more often to be seductive and promiscuous; she is never who we would think she is. The dynamics between both characters often balances out each other. For example in Double Indemnity, Walter Huff, an insurance agent meets and falls in love with his client’s wife Phyllis Dietrichson. They both plan a murder together to get rid of Mr. Dietrichson. Unlike Hollywood’s musical and comedies, happy endings don’t exists in film noirs. Low key lighting plays a huge part in film noir. It’s a major element that represents the film and its style, with the help of shadows, it creates a shroud of mystery surrounding the characters, for example, whenever we are around Phyllis, there will always be a slight shadow around her face and yet the shadows around her eyes are less visible.

Neo Noir
Film noir…
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