The conventions and evolution of film noir

Paper by Lea Lindell.

In this paper, I will do a comparative analysis of the central conventions of Film Noir. By utilizing the films “Out of the Past” (1947), “The Killers” (1946), and “Chinatown” (1974) as examples, the paper will explore the similarities and differences between classic noir and neo-noir films, highlighting the key conventions that define the genre, look closer at the significance and impact of specific conventions as well as how they contribute to the storytelling in each film. This analysis will not only offer insights into the evolution of film noir over time but also discuss the active employment of conventions and their function within varying contexts. By emphasizing the importance of the filmmakers’ choices in conveying meaning and creating impact, this paper will contribute to the discussion on the development of the film noir genre and showcase the importance and significance of cinematic style, narrative format, conventions, and iconography.

The movies “Out of the Past” (1947), “The Killers” (1946), and “Chinatown” (1974) all in different and unique ways incorporate many key conventions of film noir, for instance, its specific cinematic style and iconography. “Out of the

Posted at 10am on 05/15/24 | 1 comment | Filed Under: Academic Papers, Films read on

Intertextual Object Lessons: Barbie (2023) as a Musical

Paper by Julie Dillemuth Hollerer.

The film Barbie (Gerwig, 2023) references no fewer than thirty-three famous films (Vicino), including Saturday Night Fever (Badham, 1977) and Singin’ in the Rain (Donen & Kelly, 1952). This kind of intertextuality is important on a social and cultural level, since references to past films can be “a powerful policy and cultural repository” (Gibson 388), and also because for Gerwig and this film in particular, intertextuality gives Barbie a “cinematic pedigree” so it will be taken seriously as a film and Gerwig taken seriously as a filmmaker (Gibson 388). In this paper, close comparisons of the ensemble musical numbers “I’m Just Ken” (Barbie) with “Broadway Melody” (Singin’ in the Rain), and “Dance the Night” (Barbie) with “Night Fever” and “You Should Be Dancing” (Saturday Night Fever), will show how Gerwig references these earlier films using elements of mise en scene, and I will argue that the ways in which her musical numbers depart from the earlier films provide commentary on gender roles and a critique of patriarchal social norms in American society.

The movie Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig, came out in 2023 and though

Posted at 10am on 05/15/24 | 6 comments | Filed Under: Academic Papers, Films read on



Film Review Club: Reviews of current film releases, streaming films, and revivals by student members of the SBCC Film Review Club.

Film Festival Course: FS108: Film Festival Studies: Santa Barbara International Film Festival and AFI Fest: Hollywood (2 or 1.5 units). Field course at film festivals to study U.S. and international fiction, experimental and documentary films.

Contact: Prof. Nico Maestu ([email protected])

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