The Joel and Ethan Coen era: A reinvention of film noir

Paper by Gabriel Oakley.

A new era of film emerged out of a devastated post-war western world, which contradicted the consistently jubilant 1930s Hollywood productions by portraying dark, melancholic storylines which were clearly reflected through such features as a low-key chiaroscuro visual style, unconventional protagonists and the introduction of the Femme Fatale. This era of film was given the named Film Noir by french critics in the 1940s (Luhr, 20), which literally translates to ‘black film’. It’s prominence on the forefront of western cinema was very brief however, making way for the end of the Hollywood studio system, and a new era of independent, underground cinema in the 1960s. It wasn’t until the late 20th century when the style was starting to be revisited by auteurs, but no directors truly encapsulated the true essence of film noir, whilst weaving in their own modernist stylistic features, than the Coen Brothers. Their individualistic construction of narratives, use of mise en scene, and choice of characters helped not only to revitalise the film noir era, but through such films as “The Man Who Wasn’t There”, “Fargo”, and “No Country for Old Men”, the

Posted at 12pm on 10/12/17 | 19 comments | Filed Under: Academic Papers, Films read on

Escaping Reality in the 1930s

Paper by Eleah Colton.

“During the Depression, when the spirit of the people is lower than at any other time, it is a splendid thing that for just 15 cents an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles.” -President Franklin Roosevelt

When hard times hit and there is no hope, just struggles over struggles ,how do we snap out of it? We go to the movies!!! The Depression of the 1930’s was a tragic and very difficult time in America, and all industries went under even the film industry couldn’t escape this dire moment. With The Great Depression the motion picture industry reconstructed itself and changed the game especially when sound came along. Sound brought a whole new feel ,itself was amazing and gave so much more emotion, but song and performers singing, that was just magical. Musicals were such a big hit during the Depression and gave us so much positivity and strength.(Lewis .P92) During this crucial time, everyone was down and in despair so going to see a motion picture and escaping reality was the thing to

Posted at 12pm on 10/12/17 | 23 comments | Filed Under: Academic Papers, Films read on