1940s

Suspense (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge)

Suspense is a very different mode of narration than the detective story. Whereas the detective traditionally represents a stabilising element in the narration (he brings stability and truth where the criminal act had brought instability…





Masculinity (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge)

The preferred source of film noir, the hard boiled novel, manifests an obsession with the possibility of ‘disconnected subjectivity’. Because it’s a suspense story, there are delays and complications in the solution of the enigma,…


Law (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge)

The law manifests itself in film noir not just as the legally defined framework of the actual law, but also as the law of patriarchy, which defines the cultural environment. In a traditional world (the…


Killers (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge)

In the 1940s thrillers, criminal impulses are generally motivated in terms of personal malaise or psychic dysfunction. Any social critique is avoided… at least on the surface. There were in fact a few characteristics in…


Jazz (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge)

When I say ‘film noir jazz’ what do you think? A slow, moody kind of jazz, usually with a trumpet solo? I thought you’d say that. Truth is, jazz had basically nothing to do with…


Innuendo (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge)

When the popularity of films became apparent in the 1920s as throngs of viewers milled to the motion picture theatres, moralists already started calling for a set of rule. Movies always addressed what people most…



Genre (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge)

When we think film noir, we mostly think it is a genre, right? Well… this is trickier that one would think. A genre is normally defined as a code of narrational processes familiar to both…


Femme Fatale (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge)

It is probably no accident that the abundance of film exhibiting the femme fatale coincided with an advancement in the economic and social position of women. In a narrative that is predominantly male, the femme…


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