Quintus Curtius's The Dark Themes Of Film Noir

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Following World War II, film critics in France noticed a new dark, low-key screen style in American cinema. These films, showing “lost innocence, doomed romanticism, hard-edged cynicism, desperate desire, and paranoia,” brought a more mature world-view into Hollywood (CITE). Known as film noir, this style took advantage of the post-war atmosphere that surrounded America in the 1940s. American society felt disillusioned and jaded after everything that transpired with the second World War. In his article, The Dark Themes of Film, Quintus Curtius says it best: “The war changed everything, turning conventional morality on its head. Nobody really knew how to cope with the vastly changed landscape that war and social turbulence had created.” (CITE). The dark, cynical aspects of film noir resonated with audiences in this time period. Furthermore, as the Cold War transpired, society dreadingly shifted to a paranoid, pessimistic mood. And these dark times fit perfectly with film noir’s dark themes. Film noir, in its most classic form, lasted…show more content…
Originally, neo-noir films were considered a part of the classic noir form. However, in the 1970s, film critics started to refer to it as a separate style. Usually crime dramas and psychological thrillers, neo-noir has a number of common themes, visual elements, and storyline schemes with film noir. Nonetheless, there are quite a few differences between the two film styles. For one, neo-noir used more “modern circumstances and technology, which were typically absent or unimportant in the classic film noir.” (CITE). Additionally, neo-noir films usually employ unconventional plot devices and camera movements. And unlike classic film noirs tendency to draw the viewer into the protagonist 's life and building a relationship, neo-noir constantly reminds the viewer they are just watching a film. Themes of “identity crisis, memory issues and subjectivity” are all common in neo-noir
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