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Film noir & crime. Pink Panthers . Origin. Originates from FRENCH lexis, meaning ‘black film’ / monochrome film. Inspired by the ‘Series Noir’ (paperbacks) which had a narrative of harsh American Crime but inspired and proved popular with the French. Identification .

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film noir crime
Film noir & crime

Pink Panthers


Originates from FRENCH lexis, meaning ‘black film’ / monochrome film. Inspired by the ‘Series Noir’ (paperbacks) which had a narrative of harsh American Crime but inspired and proved popular with the French.

  • Film Noir can be identified through a number of elements; not only themable (for example character roles and their fates decided in the narrative,) but through the following:
  • 1. The typical use of ‘flashbacks’ – included in the narrative and through the use of voice overs
  • 2. The frequent undermining or shuffling of the characters’ point of view – technically done via the camera angles in the shot. E.g. a murder scene in film noir would not be directly shown, only elements of a death would be shown in order to stimulate the imagination
  • 3. the Investigative Narrative Structure – for example a protagonist in Film Noir would stereotypically be a detective/ Sargent /  war veteran; who tend to be obsessive males, sinister and struggling to survive.
  • 4. Low key lighting – to gain the thick contrasting shadows to costume design (usually a femme fetal would be in pure white to contrast her menacing characteristics).
  • 5. The use of chiaroscuro effects – monochrome effect with thick shading, similar to a strongly marked charcoal sketch but through the use of cinematography
  • 6.  The use of camera jarring and off balance shot composition (to give the sense of deterioration)
  • 7. Tight framing and close ups that create a claustrophobic sense of containment within the scene to create a sense of fear.
central protagonists femme fatale
Central protagonists; Femme fatale
  • Typical costume design for women include, a low neckline, the contrast of white garments symbolising an angelic figure on the outside but evil on inside. Gloves and high heels are donned to symbolisedanger.
  • Women during the war period had a new found independence and ‘Job Earning Power’ in their homeland; They would tend to suffer on screen at the cost of the Protagonist’ life (1940).
central protagonists male
Central protagonists; male
  • Typically stay in shabby accommodations
  • Costume design: Fedoras, (similar bowlers hat); suit and tie; polished brown shoes.
  • Damaged, vulnerable imperfect and not the stereotypical hero.
  • Manipulated by women’s sexuality. Any trouble her receives is due to involvement with the ‘femme fatale’.
  • With the war over, men’s social status decreased so this was reflected in film noir.
stylistic and narrative features
Stylistic and narrative features
  • Film noir is often distorted, and skewed
  • It used a dark atmosphere, hard shadows and peculiar camera angles.
  • Reflections, views and faces are often obscured through objects. Gives the audience the sense of uncertainty and unease
  • Because of these features within noir films, it gives the audience a sense of mystery about the characters. With the dark shadows over casting their faces it makes the audience feel uncomfortable to watch, and puts the viewer at unease.