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    Title:     cinema studies

    Paper Details    

    1. A. Describe the concept and characteristics of so called film noir. Elaborate as to how the subject matter of a film noir is realized in terms of the film styles we have covered in the course: story, cinematography, editing, sound design and music.

    B. As to the film Double Indemnity (1944), Dir. Billy Wilder. Elaborate in terms of the requirements stated in 1A. as to whether you think this film is a film noir and, if so or if not, why or why not?

    C. Are there such things as neo noir films. If so, name one or two such films. What, if anything, do these films have in common with the classic films noir of the 40s and early 50s? If not, fully justify your answer. In your answer make reference to specific films as support.

    2. What plot elements, if any, do the films “Double Indemnity,” ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice” and Treasure Of The Sierra Madre” have in common. Note: “Indemnity” and “Postman” are based on novels by the same author.

    4. Is/are there any type or types of stories, other than musicals, that benefit from sync sound? Elaborate with the examples of two films of your choice, as to what sync sound contributes to the impact of the film/story.

    5 Name two films of your choice that includes scenes in which commentary sound, or sound not naïve to or actually in the film story environment, is added to the soundtrack and elaborated in each case the impact positive or negative this commentary sound has on the impact of the scene and/or film.

    6. Describe any danger a filmmaker faces in making a film with a so called mixed gender story? {Examples are the recent “Cowboys and Aliens” (2011) and Abraham Lincoln, vampire hunter” (2010) both of which bombed?} If you think there is or is not any danger, elaborate your answer with references to at least one such mixed genre film that succeeds and (other) one that fails. Fully explain why in either case.

    7. John ford directed “The Grape of Wrath.” Along with this film “Gone with the Wind” and Wizard of Oz” are depression stories. Why do you think that in 1940-41 British and American producers suddenly dropped? Depression stories and made stories about the glorious past of England and America?

    8. Classify the 1943 film, “the ox-bow Incident,” as to genre and to the extent it is an example of character drama or melodrama. Comment on the styles/techniques used in the film, quality of the script, acting and direction. Lastly, is this film or is it not “film noir”? Why? We saw excerpts of this film in class.

    9. We saw excerpts of the following films in class:

    a. Reap the wild wind (1942)
    b. The city (1939)
    c. Northwest passage (1940)
    d. The grapes of Wrath (1940)
    e. Nosferatu (1922)
    f. Forbidden Planet (1956)

    Classify each of these films according to the artistic movement you think they each represent. Examples of artistic movement include, among others, poetic realism, poetic patriotism, neo realism, expressionism, abstract expressions. Elaborate you answer in each case by discussion.

    10. In the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, movie theatres were large palatial auditorium affairs accommodating thousands of people. in the 1950s many theaters closed due to competition from network television. The theatrical film industry fought back with technology. In the 50s and 60s there were large scale reserved seat roadshow epics in numerous widescreen processes. In the 70s, 80, and 90s large theaters were subdivided into mini theaters and such complexes were built anew. Competition from home theatres seems to have disposed of the office sized theater. Questions:
    A. What is the future of the movie theater? What size of theater will survive? What services, in addition to showing films will it offer? Why?

    B. what manner of film-story, production Value, etc., will be shown in these theaters? Why?


Subject Literature Pages 7 Style APA


Film noir translates to black film, which is used in relation to Hollywood crime thrillers shown in France following the Second World War and characterized by an increasingly dark style regarding visual representation combining gothic lighting effects with a dislocated sense of space. The subject matter of these films is realized using elements such as story whereby they were expected to appear increasingly nihilistic. Consequently, the visual style usually depicts a rather undiffused look that is evidenced through cluttered interiors and the iconography involves desolate streets as well as dark sidewalks.

            The film Double Indemnity (1944) is a film noir because of its evident dark style including the storyline, which involves crimes including confessed murderers. Furthermore, the movie depicts scenes such as wet and dark streets and thus showing the characteristics associated with film noirs.

            Neo noir films relate to contemporary movie rendition of predecessor film noir (Ross, 2016). A popular neo-noir titled film LA Confidential (1997), directed by Curtis Hanson shares characteristics with a film noir movie named The Maltese Falcon (1941). More so, the two films appear common regarding their crime-thriller style, the morally sophisticated hero, as well as complex plots.

            Some of the plot elements shared by films Double Indemnity (1944), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), and Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948) include private investigators and the demise of a naïve everyman after being framed. In other words, these movies portend foul play as viewers are made to imagine the investigator is determined to find the cause of evil all around him and perhaps bring fairness to the world portrayed.  

Other types of stories benefitting from sync sound include films. Movies such as LA Confidential (1997) and City of God (2002) applied the technique. Sync sound is increasingly vital to these films as it is responsible for generating the perception regarding motion. According to School Video Systems (2017), movies are merely made up of pictures flashing in front of audience’s eyes and the frame rate is intended to make people perceive they see actual motion. Sync sound is applied to augment the virtual reality at heart of films.

            The two films in which commentary sound is added to the soundtrack include Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) and El Topo (1970). In both examples, the sound is utilized to augment not only the intensity but also authenticity of various scenes especially considering the movies belong to the action-adventure genre.

            One danger filmmakers face in mixed gender stories involves the inability to mash together the lines of two beloved genres, and ultimately exploring neither pleasingly. A movie titled Cowboys and Aliens (2011) represents such mixed gender stories and it flopped as the filmmaker seemingly overstuffed the elements required to make a film successful (Greenwald & Brown, 2011). On the other hand, a film named 12 Angry Jurors (1957) showed relative success in the area of mixed gender stories perhaps because of the social transformation regarding women whereby their role improved.

            American and British producers declined in the early 1940s most likely because of socioeconomic effects that were witnessed during the period. It must be noted that the effects associated with the economic downturn period referred to as the Great Depression (1929-1939) were felt around the world, as different sectors experienced tumult and film industry significantly affected. Indeed, the early 1940s marked a period when both America and Britain were emerging from the ruins caused by the economic slump (American Movie Classics Company, 2017). What is more, the era coincided with the start of the Second World War all of which made markets considerably unstable.

            The film titled The Ox-Bow Incident belongs to drama genre, which is evidenced through a storyline invoking real-life situations with practical characters that are in conflict. The film noir nature of the film means its style is rather dark as espoused through evident dingy realism as well as the low-quality script. Furthermore, features such as acting and direction invoke cynical ways including talking.

            Reap the Wild Wind (1942) can be classified as expressionism, which characterized film noir period (1940s-1950s). This involves characteristics such as dark human experience including shipwrecking. The film titled The City (1939) also belongs to expressionism, which is revealed in its storyline depicting boundary between dreams and reality. Furthermore, the movie Northwest Passage (1940) is classified as expressionist because of its Technicolor nature making it comes across as blunt. The film The Grapes of Wrath (1940) is classified as realism because of its attempt to portray subject matter truthfully (Sobchak, 2010). Nosferatu (1922) also belongs to realism, which is revealed via the then common technique involving location filming. What is more, Forbidden Planet (1956) evokes realism as evidenced by scenes that depict scientific realism such as the spacecraft travel.

            The future of the movie theater is relatively stable because of its increased probability to include technology. According to Cummings (2017), the phenomenon is already underway as theaters reinvent themselves to provide an unmatched experience. Indeed, the size will remain somewhat unaffected even as services such as personalized viewing and physical environment are included. The manner of production will also involve increasingly compelling stories to keep theater-goers entertained.                



American Movie Classics Company. (2017). The Ox-Bow Incident (1943). Filmsite Movie Review. Retrieved from http://www.filmsite.org/oxbo.html

Cummings, M. (2017). Future of movie theatres. Retrieved from http://tkarch.com/future-of-movie-theatres/

Greenwald, A & brown, L. (2011). Bomb shelter. Retrieved from http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/bomb-shelter-why-did-cowboys-aliens-fail/

Ross, G. (2016). The ten greatest neor-noir films. The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/the-ten-greatest-neo-noir-films-a7340126.html

School Video Systems. (2017). Sync sound. Retrieved from http://schoolvideonews.com/Audio/Sync-Sound

Sobchak, V. (2010). The Grapes of Wrath (1940): Thematic Emphasis Through Visual Style. American Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 5, Special Issue: Film and American Studies (Winter, 1979), pp. 596-615               



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