Film Noir Film Analysis

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Cinematography is the final aspect that supports Freud’s theory in this film noir movie through specific lighting and camera work. When we meet the two females, they are shown in contrasting lighting to represent how the director is wanting us to view them. Ann is introduced to us with the glowing sun shining down on her face, highlighting how she is presented to be the pure, sweet and innocent character. Often seen in bright lighting during the day, Tourneur has shown Ann to be the typical happy housewife associated with the saintly Madonna that Freud’s theory involves. Kathie is seen in opposing settings at bars, casinos, meetings and other Madonna-whore related, night time settings. Often surrounded by shadows compared to the natural lighting…show more content…
The dark lighting versus bright natural lighting that the main females are shown in supports the idea that Freud’s Madonna whore theory is present in this film. Showing the whore in seductive, dull and night time lighting and the pure and innocent virginal female in bright natural lighting only supports this assumption. Camera shots were also briefly used to show the places the females have in the film. A lingering wide shot of Kathie leaving the bar indicates that this is the view of Jeff, watching Kathie walk away and perceiving her as a sexual object. Being viewed as this is another sign that she is the Madonna-whore, the sexual woman who has no true interest in love and uses her sexuality to seduce men, as Kathie has done previously. Another close up on Kathie’s face during the fight between Jeff and Fisher shows that she nearly enjoys seeing the men fight for her, rather than being terrified of the situation as the saintly Madonna would be expected to react. Kathie is shown to be bad through the dark/dull lighting, in a way, mirroring exactly how Tourneur is wanting us to view…show more content…
The femme fatale character, Kathie, is portrayed as the debased prostitute through tight fitting and feminine clothing, dull, night time lighting surrounded with shadows, camera work following her as if from the point of view of the males and her brave actions such as lighting her own cigarettes. Ann is seen as the saintly Madonna with contrasting aspects such as how she is often surrounded with bright natural lighting, loose fitting, smart outfits featuring trousers and high neck blazers. Ann also shows more conservative actions; for example, how Ann is often seen lighting Jeff’s cigarette, rather than her own like Kathie. These representations perfectly fit Freud’s descriptions of the female characters and support my theory that Freud’s reading is present in this film noir movie. The two female characters are intentionally portrayed this way by the director because how you view them, shapes the film and how the plot plays out. This film tells us how women were seen and expected to act at this time in society. At the time when this film was made, 1947, women were expected to be the perfect housewife, staying home and looking after the kids, cleaning the house and making the meals all while the male works hard and earns the family money. This was a very stereotypical role and women eventually

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