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Space and Place (Essay Sample)

Otis College of Art and Design Space and Place in the Cinematic City: LA Noir Instructor: Albright Paper #2 Length: 4-5 pages (12 pt font, times new roman, double-spaced) DUE: 11/17/10 (at the beginning of class) With its sprawling freeways, gritty underworld and treacherous terrain, Los Angeles has become an iconic city for film noir. For the last unit, write an analysis that critically examines some of the architectural, geographic and cultural characteristics of this style of film. You may chose from one of the following topics; however, feel free to combine aspects from each topic to form your analysis. You may also write on another topic that pertains to film noir or hardboiled fiction, but you must approve it with me ahead of time. 1) In her essay, ¡§Big Lebowski: A Bowling Ball,¡¨ Erica Rowell compares The Big Sleep to the Big Lebowski. Do you agree that The Dude is a modern day Marlow? What are some other similarities and differences? While you may incorporate some of Rowell¡¦s comparisons, you should also include your own analysis of the two films and discuss why both films are quintessential to the cultural milieu of the city. You should also analyze passages from Chandler¡¦s novel, The Big Sleep to further contextualize your argument. 2) In his book, Film Noir: The Spaces of Modernity, Edward Dimendberg examines centripetal space and centrifugal space in relation to film noir. Using his essay as the framework for your paper, discuss the relationship between Los Angeles architecture and film noirs such as The Big Sleep and The Big Lebowski. You may want to consider the narrative and thematic significance of the car, the freeway and the post-war suburban sprawl that came to define Los Angeles. In this respect, Norman Klein¡¦s discussion of the myth of the freeway metropolis and Edward Dimendberg¡¦s analysis of centrifugal and centripetal space may also be useful. 3) In his book, Film Noir: The Spaces of Modernity, Edward Dimendberg writes, ¡§the city serves as a character or agent throughout his fiction, its isolated particulars derailing the reader from the plot. Juxtaposing long shots and close-ups, Chandler's prose functions akin to cinematic montage by alternating different scales and perspectives. Had they never been adapted for the screen, his narratives still would remain illustrious screenplays of twentieth-century Los Angeles¡¨ (167). As we have discussed in class, film noir has its roots in the hard-boiled fiction of Los Angeles writers such as Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and James M. Cain. Using one or more noirs from the second half of the class as your focal point, discuss how the characters, styles and themes in their fiction that have come to embody Los Angeles. You may also include examples from other noirs from the first half of the course such as Chinatown, Double Indemnity, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Your essays should include incorporate at least two of the following sources: 1) Edward Dimendberg, Film Noir: The Spaces of Modernity 2) Norman Klein, LA Noir and Forgetting 3) Alain Silver and James Ursini, LA Noir: The City as Character 4) Erica Rowell, ¡§Big Lebowski: A Bowling Ball¡¨ 5) Robert Towne, ¡§Preface and Postscript to Chinatown¡¨ 6) Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep Please cite your sources correctly using MLA citation. All outside sources must be approved by me in advance and please avoid using wikipedia. Since this is an exercise in analyzing, synthesizing, and making connections with the course materials, please do not include outside sources (especially online sources that are not from a peer reviewed scholarly journal) unless they are essential to your argument. source..
Space and Place
The essay critically analyzes architectural, geographic and cultural characteristics of noir style of films. Film noir refers to fashionable Hollywood felony plays, mainly those that accentuate pessimistic approaches as well as sexual enthusiasms. It is between the years 1940s and 1950s that the film noirs thrived, they were characterized with black and white images. It is worth mentioning that these kinds of films came to existence as a result of crime fiction that was experienced in U.S.A in the era of depression. It is appreciated that Los Angeles is well known for noir films. The paper thus compares The Big Sleep to the Big Lebowski as well as discussing why both films are quintessential to the cultural milieu of the Los Angeles. Because they represent what happened and is happening in our society. It lets the present generation get a glimpse of those things that were negative in their society. In my view I hold the opinion that both films are ideal for the simple reason of the themes they carry; corruption, double crossing, gambling as well as other form of immorality which is thriving at the present time.
Architectural, geographic and cultural characteristics noir films
Noir films are fictional movies that strongly have crime or felony origins. Flashbacks as well as voiceover are among the major characteristics of noir films. The voiceovers are mostly derived from hardboiled detective novels. Additionally, low-key lighting schemes linked with stark light or dark distinction and theatrical silhouette patternings are other characteristics of these films. Examples of these films include Angels over Broadway, They Drive at night, suspicion, journey into Fear to mention but a few.
Obscuring of characters’ faces either partially or fully by darkness is mostly done in its production. Skewed shoots, lower angles and or wider angles are employed in developing these films. Other forms of noir film architecture are that actors and actress are shown in multiple images via mirrors and distorted forms an example The Man Who Was not There released in 2001. From my analysis the timing in most cases when the films are produced is in the evenings, night and during raining or cloudy occasions, this is to provide the films with the kind of appearance it deserves.
As suggested by Chandler 143 Noir film has developed over time to clearly bring to light a number of things that are morally and socially unacceptable. Most of these things include murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, theft and burglary. On the same note, it is evident that in the wake of all these bad things, individuals seem to betray one another for their on selfish interests where they double cross their fellow human beings. The films has perfecting the ways In which they capture and bring out these negative attributes of a given society in the most negative way. The aim of doing this is to ensur...
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