Thursday, 8 November 2012

Noirvember

Barbara Stanwyck and Fred McMurray on "Double Indemnity"

Hello, my pals and gals!

I'm here today to talk about something really interesting. "Noirvember" is nothing more than a month of November that we dedicate to film noir. I gotta say, film noir is probably my favorite movie genre, along with screwball comedy. It has everything I like: an aura of mystique and sensuality, powerful leading ladies, memorable anti-heroes, intricate crime stories and sexy flash romances. It was a very influential genre in the 40s and early 50s, but throughout the years, it has slowly diminished, to the point of becoming very nearly extinct. I don't know where the "Noirvember" trend came from, but I know it has been around the internet for a few years already. Since this is my first year in the Classic Hollywood community, I decided to jump right in. 

So, my role in Noirvember will be: First, write up a post talking a little bit about film noir (you're reading it right now), then watch 10 noir movies and finish with a collective review. I'm really excited to get further into this genre, and I picked some of the most famous and beloved noirs to feature.

Film noir was a term coined by French film critics to design a new wave of crime dramas originated in the late 1930s in Hollywood, but that didn't reach French theaters until after the Great War. Therefore, by the time the term was invented, film noir was already on its heyday in America. It's a genre largely influenced by the German Expressionism of the 1920s but some inspirations from French avant-garde are also evidenced.. The main cinematographic elements were the low-key lighting, off-center angles and shadowy atmosphere, and they were brought by foreign filmmakers who immigrated to the US. The largely used chiaroscuro, Italian word for "dark-light", increased contrast between lighter and darker areas and added to the sultry aura of film noir. It peaked in the 1940s, ending in the early 1950s, but some so-called neo-noirs have been noted since Robert Aldrich's "Kiss Me Deadly" (1955) up until the 2000s. 

Here are the noirs I will be watching this month:
1. Double Indemnity (1944) 
2. In a Lonely Place (1950)
3. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
4. Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
5. Out of the Past (1947)
6. Suspicion (1941)
7. Gilda (1946)
8. The Roaring Twenties (1939)
9. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
10. High Sierra (1941)

You all are more than welcome to join me watching your favorite noirs and talking about them! 

So long,
Marcela

2 comments:

  1. Wow, Noirvember is something totally new to me. Yet, I love this genre. Last year a now dead group I was part of made a list of the best noirs. Oddly, Sunset Boulevard won first place.
    You chose great noirs. I'm also crazy about Strangers on a Train (1951), The Lady from Shanghai (1947) and Sweet Smell of Success(1957).
    Kisses!

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  2. Ooh - great film choices this month! Looking forward to your posts.

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