Women in Film Noir
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Among the various styles of producing films, the noir style is one that has come to be recognized for its uniqueness in characterization, camera work and striking dialogue. Film Noir of the 1940s and 50s was well known for feminine characters that were the protagonists, the femme fatale. This was most common with the French and later accepted in the United States. This paper begins by introducing film noir, its definition, how it started and also the history of this genre in the United States of America. It looks at films such as the "Maltese Falcon" (1941) and "A Touch of Evil" (1958). In the second section, the paper explores how women are represented in film noir (heroine and femme fatal) by discussing the aforementioned films and analyzing them. The paper examines different authors, such as Ann Mary Doane whose research is based on feminism and psychoanalysis and Ewing Dale ("Style and Content in Film Noir"), to discuss their ideas. The paper also compares two film noirs - the "Maltese Falcon" (1941) and "Basic Instinct" (a contemporary noir), to see how women express themselves, looking to see whether they express themselves through their sexual diversity. In the third and last section, the paper examines how women are represented in contemporary noir by analyzing and discussing one contemporary noir - "Mulholland Drive" (2001). The paper analyzes sequences to demonstrate the movie's connection with film noir and examines the role of women in the film. The paper includes illustrations from movies.
From the Paper:"Mulholland Drive reinforces the dominance of the femme fatale in contemporary film noir. In present times the role of the woman in society is observed to have a variation, and this is because of the fact that there is a change in the way that she can express herself. It also highlights the way that she can dominate men without them even knowing it. It is perhaps only when they reach their ultimate doom that they realize that women have exploited them. This kind of character portrayal is one that has increased over the years since the beginning of the film noirs. From then it has developed itself in American filmmaking, which has reflected the strengths and weaknesses both in American society."
Cite this Research Paper:
Women in Film Noir (2005, October 27) Retrieved June 17, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/research-paper/women-in-film-noir-61789/
"Women in Film Noir" 27 October 2005. Web. 17 June. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/research-paper/women-in-film-noir-61789/>