Noir is an optical kind of a prototype for development of subjects, influenced by a criterion of identity whose main mechanisms are matriarchal murder and the exclusionary movement of a mixture of race and sex. Given that the main structure of this prototype is brutal in nature, it follows that it is inseparable with crisis. The saying “what goes around comes around” holds true here. More so, our dedication to the procedure of development of subjects makes sure that the end product has been changed to some ambiguous, formless, and unstructured form (Gloria, 1987). Oliver & Trigo (2003) reveal that we become accountable for our own haunting experiences by employing this prototype of subject development.
Noir has of late come up with some commendable masterpieces, both in the cinema and critical sectors. These include: After Dark, LA Confidential, My Sweet, More Than Night, Voices in the Dark, among others. But even with all these, one area of production that has not been closely monitored is the use of noir in African American films. Such filmmakers find noir techniques quite useful in depicting the challenges that colored people encounter everyday as they strive to bring down the racial discrimination that is so rampant in the US. This way, noir has enabled portrayals of governance systems to be filmed in Hollywood. Such depictions of the struggle by the blacks allow the audience to gain insight into how white supremacy can be mitigated. The films are known to lay bare whatever the blacks go through every day in their stay in the US. African American producers, through the employment of noir conventions, have been able to sensitize the viewers on the social injustices deeply rooted in the American Society, and also give them insight into how such ills can be fought (Flory, 2000, p. 28).
Film noir can be criticized in two major perspectives, either formalist or content-based. Formalist criticism normally dwells on the formal bits of film noir, the sexualization of brutality, the non-realistic lighting, the characterization of intelligence agents, the crooked elements and femmes fatales, so as to portray stabilization of the male line, and destabilization of the matriarchy. Formalist criticism relates the byname noir to some distorted form of a woman. It is no wonder that women, criminals and intelligence agents in film noir are black, simply by taking ambiguous positions that Whiteness by default leaves for the Blackness in society.
Stuck Writing Your "Expressionism and Noir" Essay?
Film noir is characterized by conflicting conversation between dark and light, real world and criminal world, bad and good. The ambiguity of these lines makes the characters possess the traits of Blackness. The formalist view characterizes a film as noir if it plays around with light and dark to portray characters who end up “Black” owing to their moral decadence. Feminists have criticized the tendency of film noir to depict White women as “Black” so as to guard their agency and self-image (Diawara, 1993, p. 525).
Carl Franklin, a black director, employs a pastoral figure…
[…… parts of this paper are missing, click here to view the entire document ]
…Dress pioneers in unearthing race form the depths to the limelight. The starring, Easy Rawlins (Denzel Washington) is black, and this reminds us throughout the piece how a potential typical noir film is swallowed by the expression of race. The 1940s L.A. featured blacks being used and abused by the white man. As such, any white man in support of Easy is known to harbor sinister motives. Even if sincerely liked, there is always this expectation that he owes them something, simply because of their racial inclination (Thelongtake, 2014).
Through assessment of film noir as a show of inhibited inexactness, we can create room for that inexactness to resurface on the peripherals of these films. Interpretation of the same reveals the minute possibilities that are inhibited and constrained, to allow race, sex, and national identity to define their appropriate boundaries, whether black or white, feminine or masculine, or foreigner or native. In the course of explanation, identity itself is again overhauled and made easier to grasp. More so, by explaining where sex and race originate from, we are able to reveal the complex mechanism by which sexual, racial, and national identities are made stable. These sites can both expose and cover uncertainties that crop up during the formation of identities. These features of noir also serve to uphold constrained inexactness in a bid to make identity more stable. Through the unearthing of these complex processes of identity development in film noir, it is our sincere hope that some of the worries and….....
Beaton, J. (Producer) & Franklin, C (Director). (1991). One false move [Motion Picture]. United States.
Diawara, M. (1993). Noir by noirs: Towards a new realism in black cinema. African-American Review, 27(4), 525-537. doi: 10.2307/3041886
Evans, R (Producer) & Polanski, R (Director). (1974). Chinatown [Motion Picture]. United States.
Flory, D. (2000). Black on white: Film noir and the epistemology of race in recent African-American cinema. Journal of Social Philosophy, 31(1), 82-116.
Gloria, A. (1987). Borderlands / La Frontera. San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lute.
Mark, B. (1999). “Private Knowledge, Public Space: Investigation and Navigation in Devil in a Blue Dress.” Cinema Journal 39(1), 74–89.
Micheaux, O (Producer/Director). (1920). Within our gates [Motion Picture]. United States.
Nicolaides, S (Producer) & Singleton, J (Director). (1991). Boys n the hood [Motion Picture]. United States.
Oliver, K., & Trigo, B. (2003). Noir anxiety. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Scruggs, C. (2004). The pastoral and the city in Carl Franklin’s “One False Move”. African American Review, 38(2), 323-334.
Thelongtake. (2014). Film noirs and cinematic scars: Devil in a blue dress. Retrieved from https://thelongtake.net/2014/09/16/film-noirs-and-cinematic-scars-devil-in-a-blue-dress/