Film noir tropes have long been explored by film historians who are fascinated with the genre's stylish cinematography, multilayered characters and pessimistic tone. A 2009 BBC documentary on the genre is now online, exploring the world of the American thrillers and teaching us the rules of noir.
Host Matthew Sweet explores the grammar of noir, starting with the rule: "Choose a dame with a past and a hero with no future." Films Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice demonstrate how "the blonder and brighter" a woman is on the outside, the more evil she is on the inside. Gotta love a femme fatale.
Guests Paul Schrader and Roger Deakins help examine aspects of each film — of which there are many overall. Other rules up for discussion: "Use no fiction but pulp fiction," "See America through a stranger's eyes," "Make it any color as long as it's black" and "It ain't what you say, it's the way that you say it."
Revisit the allure of film noir in this informative hour-long documentary.
[Spotted via The Film Stage]
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