As I’ve mentioned, this month I’m working in the genre of film noir. Film Noir, french for “black film” is a cinematic term used to describe films that are characterized by violence, moral ambiguity, shadowy lighting and shadowy characters. The majority of the classic Hollywood film noir films were produced in the 1940’s and 1950’s, were often shot in black and white, and filled with hard shadows and light to create mood.
Roger Ebert wrote a fantastic, short guide to film noir here. I love his last point. He describes film noir as:
The most American film genre, because no society could have created a world so filled with doom, fate, fear and betrayal, unless it were essentially naive and optimistic.