FIL2400 - History of the American Cinema
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Week 8 - Film Noir red line
These cynical and pessimistic films from the 40s and 50s touched a nerve in Americans. Probing the peculiar look of film noir from Double Indemnity and Kiss Me Deadly to Mean Streets and Body Heat, the program traces its roots in German Expressionism and its disturbing sense of corruption and urban decal. A cinematographer demonstrates how noir lighting is created. And historians describe how the genre's overriding paranoia is linked historically to the cold War - both the nuclear thereat and the Hollywood blacklisting of the period.
Film Noir Posters
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Reading Assignments
Study Guide - Unit 7: Film Noir
American Cinema - Chapter 9: Film Noir

Television Assignment
Sunday Night/Monday morning - October 26
Midnight - 1:00 AM
Program 7 - Film Noir

Additional Screenings
*Double Indemnity
The Maltese Falcon
- Edison Library PN 1995.9 .D4 M25
Blood Simple
Blue Velvet

Learning Objectives
A. Grasp the historical origins of film noir
B. Understand how film noir reflects the social and cultural changes of the postwar period
C. Recognize and describe film noir stylistics
D. Understand how noir's portrayal of men and women differ from the classical Hollywood cinema
E. Determine whether the conventions of noir are relevant to modern film

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Page last updated 7/9/98. © 1995, W. Terry Dugas.