We were told that as a class we had to formulate ideas for a Film Noir photoshoot. Upon receiving this task and myself being a bit of a film nerd, I wanted to approach this task utilising the many cinematography techniques used in film making, which I believe photographers carelessly overlook when producing their images.
I always like to be different when I do something and I want to approach this task by producing neo noir images. I guess I should define what is meant by neo noir or as it’s sometimes referred to as post noir or pseudo noir. Neo noir’s emergence in the 80s’ was a re-enactment of the film noir genre. Movie critics argue that film noir can never be done again because it is no longer the 40s’ and 50’s and that the time period is one of the major aspects of the film noir genre.
I somewhat agree with this and this is why I like the idea of neo noir as I believe it aims towards the same goal as film noir did to the original audiences. It uses the same cinematography techniques (dark locations, dark themes etc) and some new ones created since, and the mood and feel generated in the films are somewhat the same only just more contemporised.
Neo noir approaches the emotional/physical disturbances in a more graphic way because today’s audiences require more demanding displays of psychological dementia, aesthetic film techniques and on screen violence to illustrate the same mood/story that the original film noir did to the older audiences.
One of the major updates in neo noir is the use of colour. I feel as though the introduction of colour increases the effectiveness of scenes/settings as movies can utilise many colours to achieve the same results that black and white did for film noir ( a red light in a dark room and a flickering green neon sign for example) and even better.
I’m going to post up all types of things that inspire me in this area of Noir and write about them and how I plan to draw inspiration from them or build upon it etc.
– Dark City
It’s as if they’re wearing coats made of shadows that are accentuated by what little light is in the scene.
– Dark City
The acute angled shots help to reinforce the claustrophobic and helplessness that the characters are subject to in the movies.
– Sin City
I like the use of the low angle in this image and how the cars headlights halo the young girl as she walks down the dark alleyway.
I believe that having a complete white setting with a dark theme can still accomplish the noir idea without having to have a contrasty shadow setting. The stark white vista in the movie i believe still achieves the bleakness and helplessness of the situation.
– Bringing out the dead.
Noirs are often set indoors in spaces with low key lighting.
outdoor scenes often take places in narrow dark, wet and dirty alley ways.
I feel a good shot could be created with an alleyway post rain with a flickering colour neon sign and a lone figure in the scene being silhouetted by the neon sign light.
-Renaissance (a black and white animated science fiction)
This movie is brimming with good examples that could be drawn upon for inspiration.
The washed out colours in the scenes really reinforce the emotion of the character and what they’re currently feeling in the scene.
I like the leading lines and the basic composition of this image.
– Pulp Fiction
The deep colours used in scenes coupled with the graphic nature of the scenes really work well together.
– The Dark Knight
– LA Confidential
– The Machinist
– The Usual Suspects
-Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
– Mulholland Drive
- The 5 Best Neo-Noirs (prettycleverfilms.com)
- “Noir” Knight Sighting (NaPoWriMo #9) (thebookybunhead.wordpress.com)
- Top 5 Film Noir Bad Guys (prettycleverfilms.com)