Understanding Neo-Noir Film Genre: 4 Common Traits of the Neo-Noir Genre
by Eguaogie Eghosa Nov 18, 2021 Views (302)
Neo-noir is a film genre that updates subverts and expands on the classic film noir genre. Film noir was a post-World War II American film genre that flourished in the 1940s and 1950s. During the 1970s, studios began to release new types of noir films, which became known as neo-noir. Neo-noir films continue to be made today by filmmakers.

4 Common Traits of the Neo-Noir Genre:
Classic genre clich├ęs are updated for a new generation in Neo-noir films.

1. Antihero protagonists
Antiheroes, who are frequently private detectives with dubious moral codes and pessimistic worldviews, are central to Neo-noir films. Characteristics of the villains they resist are often shared by these antiheroes.

2. The femme fatale
A mysterious character who usually seduces and betrays the protagonist is another classic film noir trope present in neo-noir films.

3. A Conspiratorial Storyline
A narrative featuring powerful criminals and corrupt systems: Neo-noirs usually follow an antihero who is tasked with uncovering a sinister scheme involving powerful criminals and corrupt systems. Themes of paranoia and loneliness dominate Neo-noir films.

4. High-contrast lighting
Neo-noirs, like their forerunners, rely on a stark contrast between light and shadow to heighten suspense. Chiaroscuro is the name of the lighting method.

What is the Difference Between Neo-Noir and Noir?
Although neo-noirs have a lot in common with traditional noir films, they do so in a few significant ways.

1. Darker Contents
Without the restraints of the Motion Picture Production Code (also known as the Hays Code), neo-noir films experimented with violence, sexuality, and moral ambiguity. Unlike the Hays Code, which mandated film noir masterpieces such as Double Indemnity (1944) and The Big Sleep (1946) to carry criminal penalties, neo-noir films frequently feature villains who get away with their crimes.

2. Advanced Visual Elements
Neo-noir films employ cinematography methods such as tracking shots (long moving takes), large-scale special effects for action scenes, and non-linear editing, thanks to recent developments in filmmaking technology.

3. Realistic conversation
Unlike classic noir films, which employ clever, hard-boiled dialogue, neo-noirs are frequently influenced by other genres, such as the French New Wave, and so adopt a more naturalistic tone.

4. More Subgenres
Film noirs are typically traditional crime films starring detectives and criminals. Neo-noir, on the other hand, includes a wide range of subgenres, such as noir westerns and tech-noirs with science fiction themes, such as Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982).

6 Notable Neo-Noir Films
Investigate some of the most significant neo-noir films to discover more about the genre.

1. Chinatown (1974):
Is a film starring Jack Nicholson about a private eye in Los Angeles who is investigating an infidelity case that leads to a larger plot. This film's original script earned screenwriter Robert Towne an Academy Award.

2. The Long Goodbye (1973)
A private detective named Philip Marlowe (played by Elliott Gould) tries to defend his name after being arrested for the murder of his friend's wife in Robert Altman's version of Raymond Chandler's classic novel.

3. Blood Simple
Is a neo-noir criminal drama set in the Texas wilderness, written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Following this feature debut, the Coen brothers went on to write and direct several subsequent neo-noir films, including Fargo (1996) and No Country for Old Men (1999). (2007).

4. Brick (2005)
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, is a crime thriller set at a high school.

5. Memento (2000)
Is a film that was released in 2000 and is based on A man with memory loss who tries to piece together the identity of his wife's killer in Christopher Nolan's nonlinear neo-noir drama.

6. L.A. Confidential (1997)
L.A. Confidential is a 1997 film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same name. L.A. Confidential, directed by Curtis Hanson, is a tribute to numerous legendary noir films.

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