straight down the line

Attention to detail



Double Indemnity was so full of unique design elements that it’s hard to summarize all of them into a single blog post. However, I think the most powerful and effective design element was the use of space in the camera frames. As Vignelli discussed, design must be thought out, intellectual, and detailed. This shot above shows how well those ideas are captured in the design of Double Indemnity.

In its application to noir, the idea of using space in a unique manner adds to the dramatic effect that noir loves to play up. Rhythm and repetition in design creates bold, dramatic images. That is used in noir film in order to boost the drama of the plot. So much of noir is reliant on strong, detailed design, from costumes to sets to props. Everything screams noir, but nothing is arbitrary.

I also thought an intriguing technique of noir design is the use of wide shots that capture huge, vast images even though the action might be centered on only two characters. Again this adds to the drama of the scene, as well as to the noir idea that characters do not participate in much physical action. Rather, the world around them provides the movement and the strong action. This is conveyed very easily through wide angel camera shots, which were very prevalent in Double Indemnity.

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