Friday, February 20, 2009 unexpected American genre

After viewing Double Indemnity, I have a new perspective of American film.  I had heard of film noir before, but I was not aware that it was actually developed in the United States. The little about the genre I knew turned out to be very well displayed in the film just as I expected: dark, gloomy, and gritty in a sense.  Knowing about American films the movie was not at all what I expected it to be.  I guess I really never thought that American film would develop something such as film noir, the messy, doubtful, and depressing genre that it is.  I am sure it was quite a surprise for the French to be viewing so many American films after World War II that were not of the American dream and promise that most would have imagined.  Who would have thought that the one genre that is most American seems to me to be the least American of all genres.  I know that not everything can be happy all the time, but I still am surprised somehow.  
I did not really care for the idea of the genre as a whole, but I thought maybe watching an example would show me what was so appealing about the whole genre. Sadly, after the movie I did not feel any different about the ideas of film noir.  Maybe I just miss the point of it all.  I knew the character form of a femme fatale before the movie and I even remember thinking that she could be a very welcomed figure to women.  Instead I felt as though she only furthered some sad ideas about women.  Barbara Stanwyck played an excellent femme fatale, but it did not develop where I felt any draw to that type of character.  I only thought of how backstabbing and brutal she really was, she was so sly that it no longer seemed cool.  There is a certain amount of manipulation that can be used by women to get their way and be cool in doing so.  I felt as though she went well past the accepted amount of manipulation as a character and instead became the women that is ultimately a black widow.  This is the aim of the character but I have a hard time developing any good reasons that it would be cool.  Maybe the idea is that she only needed other people to use them and that she was truly independent emotionally of all other people.  Overall I felt as thought I did not connect with the film and I found that maybe there are types of cool that grow too old and fall out of fashion, though we have neo-film noirs now.

1 comment:

  1. Noir is totally a product of its time, but do you think that it could ever come back into style what with the current economic hardships?