The primary elements we need to examine when categorizing the phenomenon of film noir are the definitions of genre and style. The term “genre”, when applied to film, implies setting, narrative structure, and story development. Style, on the other hand, encompasses stylistic elements, cinematographic techniques, and tone over subject matter. Thus, films of the same or similar genre can be directed in a different style, and appear completely different. For example, both Blade Runner and Star Wars obviously belong to the sci-fi genre; Blade Runner alone is regularly regarded as neo-noir. Examination of the commonalities of those films regarded as films noir will reveal that genre elements vary widely, while stylistic elem...
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... films that are universally regarded as noir. By applying these elements across multiple genres of film, directors have demonstrated the truth of noir as a true style, and not a genre unto itself. This in no way diminishes the importance or appeal of the phenomenon, only illustrates the method of categorization by the strictest technical definitions.
Conard, Mark T. The Philosophy of Film Noir. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2006.
Rich, Nathaniel. Conversations with History. Interview. UC Berkeley, 3 Jun 2005. 3. Web.
Schrader, Paul. Notes on Film Noir. Filmex, 1971 The Film Noir, at the First Los Angeles
International Film Exposition (Reprinted in Film Comment, Spring 1972).Web. 22 Feb.
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