straight down the line

I don’t normally sit in the dark, but when I do I make sure the shadows and angles are on point

There were a couple cinematography themes that seemed to run rampant through both “Killer’s Kiss,” and “He Walked by the Night.” First of all was the use of the camera at different angles. During the boxing match in the “Killer’s Kiss” there was a whirlwind of motion. Some of it took place as if in the eyes of each boxer, while others took place looking up between the two fighting. It really brought the motion of the fight into reality. There was no perfect view of the fight. It was as if the viewers were in it firsthand, giving it the noir effect of being hopeless — unable to fight back.

Additionally, the use of lighting from one side to create shadows across the characters faces was used numerous times. They were aways half hidden. In fact the darkness of each movie was so prevalent that at times it was impossible to see any picture. In a way that also provided a sense of hopelessness for the viewer because they weren’t included in the scene.

However, one aspect I noticed that I had not been exposed to was the amount of silence in the films. Sometimes it was filled with music or running footsteps but other times, especially in “He Walked by the Night,” there was an eerie silence to the pursuit.

There were a lot of close-ups as well. We could really get a sense of the characters emotion and even occasionally see sweat beads hovering on their foreheads. Very rarely did anyone smile; it was as if happiness was not an within their emotional reach. Close-ups allows the viewer to see the realness of the conversation. It almost makes you want to listen because of intensity of proximity.

I am still learning about noir and all of its aspects, but every time we have a new reflection I feel like a whole new element is added into the mix.

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I think of all of the still captures I got, this is one of my favorites. The dangling hands from above really heighten the sense of terror. Additionally, the pitch black background brings in the literal meaning of noir. I also think the way the lighting hits his face makes the shadow the main focus.
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This is almost a spot on use of the venetian blind effect. Right at the moment when the killer has realized he is cornered, he steps back and is encompassed in the lines and shadows. It appears to be a camouflage effect but due to the contrast of the dark background, it highlights him as well.
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If I were to summarize what noir is, I would immediately think of this picture. The shadowy pursuit taking place in a dark alley with lights creating lines in the background. It is even more accurate because its a persecution of an innocent person being corrupted into someone else’s plan. The hopeless mixed with the unfortunate.


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