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Old Hollywood Crime Dramas In The Film "Noir"

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Film noir is quite interesting, and is used primarily to describe old Hollywood crime dramas. It emphasize sexual motivations and cynical attitudes. The classical film noir period roughly began from the 1940s to the late 1950s. The defining elements are, an underlying existentialist philosophy, stark lighting effects, cynical heroes, intricate plots, and use of flashbacks. The similarities and differences Blade runner and Brick are great examples at defining and portraying the effects of film noir. These movies both have classic coincidentals, similarities in developing plot and characters, and low lighting and dark ambient. In “Blade Runner” the strong female characters are Zhora and Rachel. Strong and leading characters are usually taken by men; however, most men are at war right during the film noir era. This influenced filmmakers to make films which had bold female roles to encourage women to work the jobs that their men left behind while they were on the battlefield.

Coincidentally, last from the america’s involvement in world war 2 through the post war era films picked up on the slowness and disruptiveness that the war left behind. We can easily identify classic film noir by the constant opposition of light and shadow they chose in the movie. Additionally the setting of the movie also portrayed the techniques of Noir. The claustrophobic settings are awash in endless shadows. The streets were dampened by the rain, and it always seemed to be night. The atmosphere is surely angst ridden. romantic and pessimistic is it middle name. The way the set is laid out clearly shows the cliches that every noir film has. It’s gray and dark tones are what make it all cliche and apart of its theme. Both women protagonist and deep and ‘rained on settings’ make a noir based film.

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How do these affects bring the film to life? Well the overall effect is to create cliches. These old timely feeling and classic protagonist and antagonist conflicts are intended to make the movie come to life. It also demonstrates that these techniques can be completed with lighting and camera effects. The plot can only do so much in certain cases, so the lighting and different angles and shots makes the scene or the entire movie a whole.Moreover, use of some conventional themes and unique shots creates an intense visual style. Mixing the classic genre of film noir with science fiction, makes Blade Runner a complete hybrid. This movie is combined with the classic film noir elements and a more modern science fiction side. The compositional balance within the frame is often different and disruptive. Those triangular shots and balanced shots add uniqueness. More common within this film are strange compositions of figures placed randomly in the frame. The overall effect makes a world that is intense and surprising. The themes in the movie are dystopia ,corporate power, and oppression. The themes were selected to complement the retroness in Blade Runner. Corporate power is obviously influenced by men. Back then men were in charge and were the only ones to have a say in business agreements and work contracts.Lastly, in Blade Runner the antagonist and protagonist can sum it all up. Rick Deckard is obviously the movie’s protagonist. We follow, and observe his quest to kill the replicants. In a way, he’s not a hero, since the replicants he’s killin aren’t really bad guys. He ultimately gains in awareness and improves as a person before the movie’s end. Because of the way he is followed around in the movie it makes of him important and it symbolizes that people are out to get him because he the good guy. The antagonist and his followers are usually trying to overpower the protagonist as a cliche. Roy Batty and Eldon Tyrell are the movie’s antagonist. Tyrell is the true antagonist in movie. Roy is only the leader of the replicants, so he doesn’t apply much affect to the theme. Eldon runs the evil corporation that enslaves replicants. He is really the bad dude who started it all, creating horrible circumstances that drive the movie’s noir theme and action. This classic and thick rivalry between protagonist and antagonist plays a huge part in the Film noir era.Moving on to the fantastic movie titled Brick, it also conveys film noir. Brick uses stereotypes of people. The Brain is seen wearing glasses and is on his own and in the library, as you can see it is stereotypical view of smart people. The Pin is seen with a cloak and walks with a stick which is stereotypical of people in power. The film uses specific lighting, stereotypes. Back then people were very judgemental especially of socio background and of other things. It makes sense that film noir includes stereotypes because this it shows what went down during those times. Also, the idea of good versus bad, with the bad people getting punished, the idea of an underdog. Someone like brendon who is an intellectual and valuable, yet is still taken for granted with the use of drugs and love triangles.

Film noir is also shown by Brick. He conforms to the genre by using flashbacks. Having a complex plot with both a femme fatale and an anti hero; Brick constantly uses semiotics in the film. Laura is first seen wearing red – the semiotic for danger and or mischief, in contrast to the good female, Emily who is wearing white – the semiotic for innocence and kindness. Tug is wearing white, which is funny as he is the murderer. To sum up, Film noir refers to a type of movie or a style of filmmaking which shows the world as a dangerous or sad place. Includes many people suffering, especially because of cruelty of others and corporate power. Both films are built around the style of film noir and successfully execute their storylines.


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