Reflection on Noir and Visual Storytelling

This week we had to watch two movies and reflect on the noir and visual storytelling elements. I watched Killer’s Kiss (1955) and Chinatown (1974) which is on Netflix. Both of the movies had very long introductions.

My computer was having some technical difficulties while I was watching Killer’s Kiss (1955), but I was able to watch the whole movie! Killer’s Kiss was in black and white. I liked how this movie, like the readings from last week share elements of noir. There is a twist in this story, which makes it very “noir”.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 5.10.42 PMThis is a still capture from Killer’s Kiss. I thought that this picture contained elements of noir because it uses a lot of shadowing. I can also feel the mood just from this picture. Something is happening. Someone has arrived and two people are headed towards the car. This is what I can tell based off of this picture, but seeing it in the film brings all of the elements together.

My computer was cooperating when I was watching Chinatown on Netflix. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie. I really liked how it was in color. I also really liked how the feelings are very vocal. You can tell what a character’s emotions are based off of them being vocal about it or their body language.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 5.26.29 PM

This is a still capture from Chinatown. I thought that Mrs. Mulwray resembles my character dossier Shirley Mayfield. I found them to be very similar. She is very wealthy and is dressed to perfection wearing her pearls and red lipstick just like Shirley would be. I just found that to be interesting. They even have several character elements that match up.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 5.31.10 PM

This is a still capture from Chinatown.  I chose to include this photo because I think it contains multiple elements of noir. This image is shot through binoculars, so the angle is different. The side profile is being shot and there is shadowing going on. I can feel the mood just by looking at this picture.

I think that cinematography encompasses the feelings and aesthetics of noir. I like how cinematography gives you a broader visual of noir in visual elements because a with a picture you can see what is going on, but with a film all of those elements are tied together. I really enjoyed watching these films. It gave me a broader perspective on cinematography.

I enjoyed both of the movies. Even though they have a lot of similarities, they are both very different at the same time. I liked how I watched one in color and one in black and white. It gave me a different perspective on how noir works or is portrayed in film. Killer’s Kiss really wasn’t that interesting to me. I don’t really know what, but I didn’t enjoy it much. I really liked Chinatown a lot though. It had a good plot line and it was enjoyable.

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2 thoughts on “Reflection on Noir and Visual Storytelling

  1. Martha says:

    I like your interpretation of the binoculars shot as a different angle — it is a different way of framing a shot and that framing definitely impacts your reading of what’s happening.

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