Noir Film Analysis

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American film noir didn’t start as a genre but a visual style of film as depicted in 1940s American films like This Gun for Hire, but following the coining of the term by post world war II french scholars film noir especially from the 70s to the present day through films like LA Confidential has evolved to a very recognizable and full featured genre . We are able to recognize films within the noir genre as with any genre films for their distinct syntactic and semantic qualities, the same theories/concepts Rick Altman uses to define the difficult concept of genre remain very similar between the 1940s noir and today’s contemporary neo noir. In talking about the syntactic and semantic list of film noir its pretty helpful to know and understand what these elements are. It’s difficult to say that there is a sole formula for every noir film, but there are many recognizable commonly occuring traits that remain constant from the genre’s inception over 70 years ago going forward into contemporary neo noir. In terms of syntactic elements as identified in the Belton text’s noir chapter the most universal elements would be the complex narrative structure, the violent nature and involvement with crime, fem fatales, arbitration of justice, tough guys, and loneliness. These are really what drive the film non visually whereas the semantics contribute to the visual stylings of the film. Noir films share the common semantic elements of low key lighting, dark and rainy nights, sequencing,

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