Course overview

What is “Film Noir”? It is arguably the most influential American film genre of the 1940s: a dark, sordid and cynical world providing an alternative to the prevailing Hollywood glamour. From hapless antiheros to dangerous dames, this informal course will explore the archetypes, themes and style of noir. Among the films to be examined include The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Out of the Past and Touch of Evil. This is a course for anyone who has wondered what the term “Film Noir” means and wants to discover more!

Course description

Film Noir remains one of the most fascinating and discussed film genres from the golden age of Hollywood. This informal course will explore the reasons why this dark and cynical genre holds such a grip upon audiences and will attempt to analyse what is actually going on in these movies.

It will begin by looking at what is expected from a “Film Noir”: the recurring features, stars and themes. The roots of noir will also be examined, ranging from American pulp crime fiction and emigree film makers from Europe, along with the hotly-debated contest as to what is the first film noir movie?

Gender roles will be explored, particularly the importance of the “Femme Fatale” and what she really wants: is it the man or is it the money? Linked with this is the question as to whether these films depict a crisis of masculinity.

The political background to these films will also be examined. Do they reflect Cold War fears along with the Communist Witch-hunts of the House of Un-American Activities?

Finally it will be seen how Film Noir faded away during the 1950s, yet how it has continued to influence cinema to this very day.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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