How The Innovative Minds of the Coen Brothers Tackle Film Noir

Paper by Veronica Arvidsson.

“Noir” is the French word for black, film noir got it’s name from being characterized as dark films, dark stories and dark stylistically. ”A narrative structure emphasizing past transgression or traumas; a focus on crime that is both psychological and physical; an extensive use of low key lighting; an overall tone of threat, mystery, and fated action…” (Friedman et al. 504) that’s one way of interpreting what film noir is. The Coen brothers have used conventions of film noir, a genre which had it’s uprising and glory years between 1940 – 1959 (Friedman et al. 486), when creating films of modern society. Three of these films that I will look closer into are Blood Simple (1984), Fargo (1996) and The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001). By drawing examples from classic film noir films and readings from published books and articles I will prove my thesis that the Coen brothers are not only using conventions of film noir when creating these films but they are also renewing it and putting a modern face on the genre by adding their personal expertise and creative touch on it.


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Posted at 6am on 09/22/17 | 1 comment | Filed Under: Academic Papers, Films read on

Subliminal Captivation

Paper by Breanna Mahoney.

There is a great deal that goes into the making of any film. One of the most important priorities is ensuring that the film will succeed in commanding the attention of the audience. This responsibility falls considerably in the hands of the director in that they distinctively manipulate various elements during the filmmaking process that are specifically intended to involve the audience in a certain way. Doing so is unique to each director and Alfred Hitchcock is no exception. Hitchcock once said, “I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man.” Hitchcock felt that his responsibility to the audience was to provide a radically authentic presentation of a story which is exactly what he did in the 1951 film, Strangers On a Train. Filmed both on set and on location in the U.S., it is a stunning example of Hitchcock’s ingenuity, particularly in the way it abides by of the tenets of Expressionism. A film movement that began in in Europe in the 1920s, German Expressionism relies on mise-en-scene to illustrate the internal, psychological states of the characters.

Posted at 6am on 09/22/17 | 1 comment | Filed Under: Academic Papers, Films read on