Femme False Characters In Film Noir

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Throughout the film noir genre we have explored the role of the femme fatale characters who use their womanly charms as weapons to manipulate men and achieve some higher goal. There acting skills to appear vulnerable and helpless, along with her manipulative nature creates a cold hearted master over men, disguised as a damsel in distress, which our heroes cannot resist. This femme fatale character is portrayed perfectly by Norma Desmond in Billy Wilder’s film Sunset Boulevard but is also challenged by the strong, yet kind, character of Laura Hunt in the novel Laura by Vera Caspary. The feminist view of Laura shines a great light on how women can be empowered and independent and seeking to gain status or monetary gain, but from their own hard…show more content…
However Laura is not a femme fatale in the classic stereotype in the way that Norma or other characters are, she is not a threat to the man himself and his life seeking to manipulate and eliminate, instead she is a threat to the patriarchy and the social sphere dominated by men. In the book written by Julie Grossman titled Rethinking the Femme Fatale in Film Noir, she redefines the stereotypical idea of the femme fatale in a more feminist view to be, “ the dangerous women in film noir are lawless agents female desire, rebelling against the patriarchal regulation of women to the domestic sphere where they are deemed passive and valued only in relation to their maternal and wifely vocation,” showing evidence as to how Laura is not simply a woman out to manipulate and eliminate men, but instead as a crusader towards a more equal view of the sexes and not just a subject of the male gaze. (Grossman 4). Laura in the novel is first seen through the lens and perspective of each male characters in which she is involved with. Our hero of the story McPherson cannot help but fall in love with the woman in the painting and finds her irresistible when she is quite and feminine as well as
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