Film Noir Essay

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Randi Grummer Film Noir 4/26/11 Anderson The Underworld of Suburbia Film Noir is a term used to describe a certain type of Holly crime drama. Film noirs, otherwise known as crime thrillers or murder dramas, have specific camera angles, shadows, romance, and atmosphere. These films contain flashbacks that disrupt and obscure the plots sequence, in addition to possessing a dark and corrupt feeling. Typical film noirs from the 1940’s and 1950’s were often connected to an urban setting. However, today, directors have evolved this genre and, now, a majority of these films are located in suburbs, small towns and rural areas. This sub-category or psychological suspense genre can also be known as a Suburban noir. Directors today have modified film noir and moved the settings of these films to suburbia in order to address new social conditions. Dave Lynch’s Blue Velvet, D.J. Caruso’s Disturbia, and Peter Jackson’s American Beauty all fit into this genre of film. These films contain characters from the gloomy underworld of violent crime and corruption and then shift to a noir based in a suburban setting. All three films violently clash a perfect utopia with a dangerous underworld. Suburban Noir films usually contain storylines with either the ruin of the family unit, the destruction of the American dream, or the basic concept of typical suburbia containing hidden danger. Suburban noir films prove that it requires a great deal of effort to uncover the unseen dangers of the modern world. Blue Velvet, directed by Dave Lynch, is the perfect example of a Suburb noir film. This movie unearths a dark foundation in a seemingly innocent neighborhood, called Lumberton. The film tells the story of a college student, named Jeffrey Beaumont, who returns home to visit his ill father. When he is home, he finds a human ear in a field and begins investigating, with the

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