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Film Review - Nior

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Film Nior started in the 1930's and was popular until the late 1950's to early 1960's. The term Film Nior or "black film" in French was coined by the French critic Nino Frank in 1946. These films were typically black and white and displayed a cinematic technique that made use of dark or dim lighting effects, dreary settings, filtered lights, generally dark themes and characterizations. This genre is on the negative side it includes crime and gangster flics, cops and detectives, private eye's and grifters, loners or characters that are tragic and unlucky. The flashback is another staple of noir films, many of them are voice-overs, narrated by the protagonist recounting, somewhat sarcastically, the reasons and details of his downfall. William Holden in "Sunset Boulevard" is a great example of this where he narrates the whole story in flashbacks of what happened before his death. There is also the always element of criminal activities, whether from organized crime, crimes of passion, or "accidental" crimes when the protagonist is "sucked" into doing something he or she never intended, mostly because he/she was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people and made a very bad decision, or something like that. Some of these transgressions include murder, embezzlement, theft, gambling, kidnapping, adultery, blackmail, extortion, and don't forget assault and battery. Last but not least the Femme Fatal, the woman with a powerful and dangerous attraction to the main character who pushes, nudges or leads our main character down the wrong path.



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