And so here we go again! This is the third year I attempt the AtoZ Challenge and hope everything goes as it should!
For those who don’t know, the AtoZ Challenge is a blogging challenge taking place in April where participants blog every day except Sunday, moving along the alphabet. On the first of April, we’ll blog about something ‘A’, on the second about something ‘B’ and so on.
If someone wants, these posts can be linked not just by the alphabet, but also by a theme.
I learned about the challenge soon after I created my blog in 2014, too late to participate, but I took part in both 2015 and 2016 and had a ton of fun. Sure there will be people telling you it is stressing. It does take time and effort, I won’t deny it, but I’ve met so many wonderful people and blogs during the challenge that a bit of work really isn’t all that bothersome.
My themes so far were:
For this year’s challenge I’ve decided to step away from my usual 1920s subjects and do something a bit darker.
Enter my theme!
1940s FILM NOIR
The ‘Femme Fatale’ and the ‘Damage Hero’ fight on the ring of postwar America1940s FILM NOIR The ‘Femme Fatale’ and the ‘Damage Hero’ fight on the ring of postwar America… Click To Tweet
Everyone knows a film noir when they see it, right? It is something so characteristic and so ingrain in our aesthetic sense that we don’t even think about it.
Still, film noir is one of the most slippery, blurry, ethereal subjects of the film industry. Nobody can even agree on what exactly film noir is. And to make things worse, no director, in the classic time of film noir, ever decided to make a ‘film noir’ since the concept didn’t even exist back then.
The term film noir was coined in France, after WWII, when many Hollywood films finally arrived in Europe. French critics noticed a new trend in the American crime films: they were grittier, dirtier, more disillusioned and generally more pessimistic than Hollywood films ever used to be. These critics noted a trend that seemed to have spontaneously emerged in Hollywood during the war and termed it ‘film noir’ (literary ‘black film’), creating a concept that previously hadn’t existed.
If film noir was never a goal or a guide for any of the filmmakers who made those films, its inspiration did arise from a very specific historical and social situation engendered by the war. Film noir tells of anxiety, of uncertainties, of shifting roles and lost morals, of people who can’t cope with society and often act against it, because society can’t offer what they need.
The world of film noir is a world marked by a World War that has destroyed everything, before anything is reconstructed. It’s a world of immingrants, scant means, personal resourcefulness and dark lances.
In these films, the world of men damaged by the war is in stark contrast with the world of women that the war has empowered. The film noir femme fatale is a powerful, wilful woman who knows exactly what she wants and how to get it, a fascinating but unsolvable problem for a hero that is instead confused and wounded.
And here, in the unresolved ground of the unmatchable differences between men and women is where the anxiety of an entire era emerges. To the damaged hero of film noirs, the femme fatale is the unknown, inscrutable future.
Welcome to my AtoZ Challenge. I hope you’ll enjoy it.