Film Noir / Blog Assignment

Students in Art2040 were asked to view a Film Noir movie in preparation for the Opera Fatale project this semester.

Please post to the blog here…
1- your name
2- title of Film Noir you viewed / director, year / link to film info
3- short response to the film / what you found most compelling about the film
4- what you noticed about the camera shots, angles and lighting / how you tried to integrate and apply the approach to your Opera Fatale scene

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10 thoughts on “Film Noir / Blog Assignment

  1. Megan Rekowski
    I watched Double Indemnity, directed by Billy Wilder in 1944. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036775/?ref_=nv_sr_1

    I really enjoyed the story and the twists in the plot weren’t completely predictable. Some actually caught me off guard which was and interesting turn compared to most movies. I noticed a lot of use with how shadows played into the shots by using Venetian blinds and barn doors to create a glow on their faces alone. I also liked how their hats played with the shadow and cast interesting and dynamic shading on their faces. I used these to try and get shadows to play interestingly off of my background images and when shooting the actors I wanted to create that intensity of shading on their faces and see the same shadows from their hats and cast shadows in other ways.

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  2. I watched Sin City http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401792/ Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez in 2005.

    I kind of liked it. The storyline wasn’t as cliche packed as I assumed although most of the time I wasn’t too emotionally involved with the characters. They were the only thing that was lacking originality besides the dialogue of film noir. I was compelled by the coloring in the movie. Stylistically it was great. Some colors were illuminated while the rest remained in black and white, giving emphasis to details you were meant to pay attention to. The camera angles were dramatic, slanted and were pretty creative, so that part I enjoyed seeing. But overall the visual part of the movie greatly outweighed the dialogue. I cringe every time I read or hear film noir dialogue. The filming of the Opera Fatale was more limited than what I would have liked to do in terms of filming, although I tried to incorporate a dramatic style of closeups and head shots. I was glad we tied to create the shadow effect in some of the scenes.

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  3. Cyrus Aluni

    I watched Sin City http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401792/ Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez in 2005.

    I kind of liked it. The storyline wasn’t as cliche packed as I assumed although most of the time I wasn’t too emotionally involved with the characters. They were the only thing that was lacking originality besides the dialogue of film noir. I was compelled by the coloring in the movie. Stylistically it was great. Some colors were illuminated while the rest remained in black and white, giving emphasis to details you were meant to pay attention to. The camera angles were dramatic, slanted and were pretty creative, so that part I enjoyed seeing. But overall the visual part of the movie greatly outweighed the dialogue. I cringe every time I read or hear film noir dialogue. The filming of the Opera Fatale was more limited than what I would have liked to do in terms of filming, although I tried to incorporate a dramatic style of closeups and head shots. I was glad we tied to create the shadow effect in some of the scenes.

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  4. Leah Beltz

    I watched the film Branded to Kill Directed by Seijun Suzuki (1967)
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061882/

    It came out after the classic film noir’s but it definitely was true to the genre. There was jazz music playing in the background, creating an atmosphere of drama and ease. Gender roles and film qualities were kept, with a strong male lead and fem fatale, in black and white. Since it is a Japanese film, there were subtitles, which always annoy me a little bit but that is basically my only complaint. The pace and the overall quirkiness of the film kept me interested. The shots themselves were dark and shadowy. A lot of half lit scenes kept the mystery. With a variety of shot types, we get to see different details to add on to the story which is nearly impossible to do with our film. It seems that many of the effects in film noir’s is the scene and how it is lit, which with a green screen I don’t feel like there is enough control to make it look believable. I am trying to integrate the different angles, but since my scene is so short it looks choppy. It has been frustrating in trying to resolve my scene because of this but also interesting trying to do so.

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  5. I watched the film Double Indemnity, directed by Billy Wilder, 1944. I liked the movie at first, but I didn’t really get into it until they were after they plotted to murder the man. This movie really encompassed what I though a film noir movie would be like, gritty, dark, murder crime drama. What I found most compelling was the voiceover. I thought it was a neat idea that they introduced him as the murderer in the first five minutes. The scenes were all so dimly lit and the lighting was so dramatic and carefully placed. I plan to use a bit longer shots to pay homage to the more dramatic lengths of scenes from the 40s.

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  6. April Robinson
    Double Indemnity, Directed by Billy Wilder, 1944
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036775/

    I found that it fit this idea of Film Noir because it is a murder mystery. Walter Neff is an insurance salesman who falls head over heels for the seductive Phyllis Dietrichson. The twist is this is one of his client’s wife. She pokes at the idea of killing her husband to Walter for the insurance money. Walter takes the idea, but plays with it to get two times the amount from double indemnity. Her husband is found on the train dead and it was called and accidental death. BUT Walter’s friend Barton Keyes doesn’t believe this, and looks into the idea of the wife killing him with the aid of another man.
    My opinion on this film was it was pretty slow and had a very basic and predictable out come. For example it was over an hour till her husband was killed, and you always got the feeling that Phyllis never really loved Walter.

    Some things that I noticed:
    Very dark background and light right on the faces
    When someone speaks its common for him or her to be on screen
    Lots of shadows, shadows tend to have shapes to them
    Most camera angles are at standing level

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  7. Eric Soderberg
    Strangers on a Train (1951) by Alfred Hitchcock
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044079/
    I liked the movie a lot, a lot of very interesting angles were used in this film. I felt they always knew what they were doing when it came to the framing of scenes. For the most part a lot of the scenes took place in either low light or at night. Definitely had the film noir feeling within it with the shadows etc. I tried to incorporate it into opera fatale through the soft lighting and dark shadows.

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  8. Baylee Reinert
    Detour (1945).
    Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer.

    The film noir movie that I watched was Detour directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. This movie is about a man name Al Roberts who is on a mission to hitchhike across the country to California so he can see his girlfriend Sue and comes across some problems along the way. I liked this movie and thought it had some nice unexpected plot twists throughout it. I noticed right away from the beginning the different angles and the shadows on the characters faces. At one point in the film the main character, Al Roberts, is talking and the lighting is normal until he starts to have a flashback then you can notice the light being focused around his eyes. Another effect I noticed is how Sue, Al Roberts girlfriend, seemed to have a glow about her. This effect was probably done by having a light behind her to make her seem more angelic. After seeing this movie it made me get a sense of what kind of angels and shadows I wanted to include when filming the Opera Fatale and I tried to keep them in mind and apply them.

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  9. Baylee Reinert
    Detour (1945).
    Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037638/

    The film noir movie that I watched was Detour directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. This movie is about a man name Al Roberts who is on a mission to hitchhike across the country to California so he can see his girlfriend Sue and comes across some problems along the way. I liked this movie and thought it had some nice unexpected plot twists throughout it. I noticed right away from the beginning the different angles and the shadows on the characters faces. At one point in the film the main character, Al Roberts, is talking and the lighting is normal until he starts to have a flashback then you can notice the light being focused around his eyes. Another effect I noticed is how Sue, Al Roberts girlfriend, seemed to have a g

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  10. Keegan Burckhard
    The Big Sleep
    Directed by Howard Hawks
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038355/

    In this murder mystery film noir, Humphrey Bogart plays the character private detective Philip Marlowe who is hired by a rich family. There is a mystery murder case that he tries to solve, but people keep double crossing each other throughout the film. There are many gruesome murders that are balanced out by romance between Philip Marlowe and Vivian Rutledge, who is played by Lauren Bacall.
    I thought this film was very complex and well done for its time. I was very impressed and enjoyed the film because of its edgy scenes. Unlike most films especially old ones this film was unpredictable. There are many twists and turns that keep the audience guessing. I would have never guess who committed the crime.
    The whole film was black and white, and the majority of the film was very dark. Often times the characters would have shadows covering parts of their faces. There were some great close up shots that made use of the shadows in the film, which inspired me to capture some similar close up shots in my Opera Fatale scene. I find these close up shots more intriguing because we can see facial expressions more clearly.

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