Film Noir – What Paul Schrader meant by the Film Noir Genre

“According to the two articles we read for class, what are some of the essential stylistic and thematic characteristics of the “genre” we call film noir? Discuss these characteristics in relation to two or three films often discussed in the context of noir. Among them several will be made available to students via Google Drive: Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944), Gun Crazy (Joseph Lewis, 1950), The Hitch-Hiker (Ida Lupino, 1953), and Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955). You are free to select others as well but your paper should ideally cover at least two different periods of noir as described in Paul Schrader’s article.”

– All finals should be between 1600 and 2000 words, which roughly converts to 5 to 7 pages with properly formatted (double-spaced with 12-point font). Students should include a notation at the end of the essay indicating the final word count. Note: while I am okay with students going (slightly) over the 2000 word count, students should not go under 1600 words; doing so will result in a deduction.
– Students are encouraged to do additional research into the films and filmmakers they are considering in their papers but this additional research needs to be assimilated and integrated as seamlessly as possible into the final paper. Students should date all the films they discuss in a similar way as the samples listed above.
– Students should substitute paraphrase for quotes as much as possible. Both quotes and paraphrases need to be properly cited (e.g., author, page number). Failure to properly credit someone else’s arguments and making it appear as your own is plagiarism and will result in a fail grade.
– Overreliance on quotes as well as excessive spelling and grammatical errors will result in a deduction. • Feel free to include visuals (frame grabs, diagrams) as part of the submission, but make sure these are not used as a replacement for one’s own substantive engagement with the topic at hand.
– Although visuals do not influence/change word count, the instructor will give students extra credit for putting these kinds of finishing touches on their work, especially when these visuals are directly relevant to the focus of the paper (but make sure to properly resize any/all images used in the paper; they should not be too large or ungainly).

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