straight down the line

Film Noir

In Digital Storytelling, we were asked to look at examples of film noir and suggest our own.
Noir is a style of media that normally has dark themes and lighting. It usually has concepts of cynicism and dark humor. It was first brought up in three separate times. 1941-46, during the war, the post-war realist period during 1945-49 and the psychotic action and suicidal period of 1949-53. Foreigners in the post war period had realized that after the war, America’s media was becoming increasingly darker in style. America no longer had happy themes to bring the people of their nation up in spirits (Schrader). They were focusing on the honest, dark aspects of the world. Although noir’s focus was in the 1940s and 1950s, there has been and increasing use of the style of noir in modern times. This is called neo-noir. One example that I found is a show called Angel.

The show is about an antihero called Angel. He is apart of the Buffy universe and his story follows his life during his time in LA, battling demons and vampires. Much of the show deals with Angel’s struggle with having a soul and being a vampire. Because of this, he has major guilt for his crimes while he was a vampires without a soul. The show is very black and gray in lighting and style. It deals with psychological elements of characters and dark themes.

Another show similar to this is called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, of the same universe. It is lighter in themes but still has elements of cynicism and pessimism.

Five examples of noir that I have seen are Courageous Cat: The Case of the Cat Cave Treasure, Welcome to Nightvale, and The Truth Podcast: Moon Graffiti.

I hadn’t seen the Courageous Cat show before and when I watched it I could see the elements of darkness in the episode. The heroes and the villains were trying to best each other and they use dark methods to do so. I liked the episode and it reminded me of the Looney Tunes cartoon.

I am a very big fan of the Night Vale Podcast. It was easy to see the noir style in the podcast. One thing I would say is that at the beginning as Cecil is explaining the universe, it isn’t as dark. As the show progresses, it gets darker and scarier in themes.

Despite the darkness of the podcast, I really enjoyed The Truth Podcast: Moon Graffiti. I thought that the writing in the podcast was really well done and the idea of using the actual message if Apollo 11 actually crashed was an eerie addition that made everything feel more real.

Overall: I enjoyed this week’s project because I wasn’t aware that noir was a style of film and media. I do enjoy a lot of types of noir, I just didn’t have a concrete name for what they all were. I’m glad that I was able to expand my horizons and discover a style that I find great entertainment in.

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