Characteristics of Film Noir

The president of a social and corporate catering company in Illinois, Jeffrey Bussean has created unique, private event settings at a variety of venues during the course of his more than four-decade-long career. In his leadership role, he provides hands-on direction to his employees and handles public relations and business development. Outside of work, Jeffrey Bussean enjoys a wide range of hobbies such as watching film noir.

Born out of the post-World War II anxiety and pessimism, film noir is a style of black and white film popular in America between the 1940s and 1960s. This style of film maintained several common characteristics, some of which are discussed below.

Fatalistic attitudes: Most characters in film noir works maintain the belief that their life has already been planned out. The idea that free will is not real is prevalent in this style of film, and most stories revolve around a single mistake that continues getting worse every time the character tries correcting.

Characters: Rather than having a typical hero character, film in this genre are largely made up of characters who are conflicted and who lack a clear moral compass. Since most works focus on stories relating to crime, characters are often detectives, private eyes, gangsters, and the like.

Voice-overs: During the time that film noir became popular, much of society supported the idea of Freudian thought. As a result, film noir works heavily feature voice-over work that provides viewers with an idea of a character’s inner thoughts throughout the story.

Cinematography: In order to reinforce the plot’s dark themes, film noir movies feature sharp shadows and a lot of blackness. They place a strong focus on camera work, and skewed camera angles are often used in conjunction with a claustrophobic feel to emphasize the story’s grittiness.