Genre Spotlight: Film Noir

When we refer to the “genre” of a film, we’re referring to the category or classification of the film that identifies it with other similar films. Films in the same genre will have related themes, plots, moods, characters, narratives, structures or settings.

Some of the most popular movie genres include action, comedy, romance, crime, horror and thrillers. There are even genres within genres, such as romance movies being split into period romances, teen romances etc.

Film Noir?

One of the oldest styles of filmmaking is “Film Noir” – a term coined by the French back in the 1930s. Whether it’s a genre or not has long been a huge debate, with a lot of people claiming that it instead describes the mood and tone of a film. However considering the rich history behind it, it’s not surprising that many still claim it as a genre in its own right.

The term was given to old Hollywood crime movies that were seen as being exceptionally dark. These films tended to include cynical heroes and underlying and intricate storylines. In particular, it refers to American crime dramas produced during the post WWII era.


What Can You Expect From a Film Noir?

Movies in this genre were filmed in black and white, with the tone typically being bleak and depressing. They in no way whatsoever left you with the impression that there was going to be a happily ever after. They were simply made to reflect the disillusionment and cynicism felt by a lot of people in America after the war ended.

It’s hard to define whether a film should be considered as being a film noir or not, but generally they will include many of the following characteristics.

  • Urban location
  • Dark streets in the rain
  • Criminal element
  • Corruption
  • Morally ambiguous heroes and heroines
  • Dark scenes
  • Scenes set in shadows
  • Flash back narrations
  • Femme fatale


Film Noir Today?

The noir genre introduced audiences to tough, cynical and original themes that movies had never explored before. These are still themes that are explored in cinema today, albeit with a more modern twist. The psychological aspects of noir films are still prevalent in a lot of modern films, with the most recent Dark Knight films exploring the genre in the atmospheres of their films. In fact, Batman is a character who could be defined as being very much a noir figure.

As we reflect back on a genre that had a huge role in the way Hollywood is today, it reminds us that looking back on the past and preserving good memories is such an important thing to do.

Whilst we love watching all of our memories on cine film, we think it’s time that these memories were brought back into the present. By converting your old cine film to DVD, you can easily access parts of your past that you thought were long forgotten.

To find out how we can help you do just this, please contact us on 0800 592433 and we will be happy to help.