straight down the line

Noir and Visual Storytelling Reflection

The two movies I watched for the week were Killer’s Kiss and Chinatown. Both of the movies portrayed various elements in noir. At the start of both story lines the main characters are a bit mysterious. Because of this I was not sure if they were good or bad, or could be trusted. As the plots developed this became a little more clear however. In Killer’s Kiss the cinematography was very dark (the black and white filing only made that worse). I noticed that it was more dark and mysterious in certain scenes of conflict as opposed to other, or basic, scenes. The use of shadows was also a major element in Killer’s Kiss and Chinatown. In both these movies we see the venetian blind shadow effect. And even at the beginning of China Jack Nicholson characters comments on how he just go the blinds installed. This effect I think give a film noir scene some darkness but with allowing the light. Almost as if to symbolize that you can only see half the story now because the “blinds” are blocking the view of the entire picture.

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Another noir element that is shown in both these movie is the unique use of camera angle. In Killer’s Kiss it is just the simple use of close up or far away shooting, but in Chinatown it was much more. The filming in Chinatown used reflection and other methods to enhance the story. In a few scenes the camera angle is taking the point of view of the J.J. (Jack Nicholson). This “detective lens” was very interesting to me. Some shots were taken from a car side-mirror and others from the view of binoculars. All in all though I think both these movies did a great job in portraying noir.

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