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Theater, Film, and Television

Film Noir

Robert Altman, Lawrence Kasdan, Sam Raimi, Reservoir Dogs, WHA

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Film Noir, American motion-picture style popular in the 1940s and 1950s, typically featuring shadowy lighting, fatalistic pessimism, incidents of treachery, and the sense of a corrupt and violent society. The name, pronounced film no-WHA and taken from the French for “black film,” was coined by French critics to describe movies of the period that shared such themes and techniques.

Although the style faded in popularity beginning in the 1960s, films noirs continued to be produced and appreciated in the ensuing decades. Well-known modern films in this style include The Long Goodbye (Robert Altman, 1973), Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976), Body Heat (Lawrence Kasdan, 1981), Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992), and A Simple Plan (Sam Raimi, 1998).

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Robert Altman, Lawrence Kasdan, Sam Raimi, Reservoir Dogs, WHA, Quentin Tarantino, Simple Plan, black film, Martin Scorsese, Body Heat, Long Goodbye, Taxi Driver, Film Noir, movies, themes, sense, style, period, techniques

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