Film noir

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.
3. As early as 1922 (sync) sound on film had been invented, but little commercial or public attention was paid to the “Fox Phonofilm” process eventually adopted by the industry. Why do you think ‘The Jazz Singer” (1927), a silent film with sync sound sequences involving then very popular Al Jolson singing, so captured the attention of the public, despite broad industry skepticism and the fact that the superior Fox sound-on-film system had been available for 5 years?
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. During and for some years after World War H there was a movement of sorts, especially in Italy, that has been often characterized as neo realism. Such Italian films as Open City, The Bicycle Thief and Umberto D are generally considered as exemplary of this movement. Notable directors include Rossellini, Fellini, de Sica, Antonioni and Visconti. Your instructor likes to view this movement as It’s A Hard Life movies. Articulate:
What distinguishes films of this period that qualifies them as neo realism? Discuss story concept, plot, production values, etc., and sociaVcultural influence/ context that bear on your answer. Answer by reference to particular films, if you can.
b. By 1966, Vittorio de Sica was doing comedy and a pretty good one, namely After The Fox with Peter Sellers. In 1960, Fellini poked pungent satire at Italian society in La Dolce Vita. What happened in Italy that films started having a sense of humor, do you think?
c. Does this classic neo realism movement pertain today to a recent film you can name? Discuss how the neo realism label applies.

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