The Themes of Film Noir

Out Of The Past (1947)

These thumbnail interpretations from the book Film Noir by Alain Silver and James Ursini, are compelling renditions of the two essential themes of film noir:

The Haunted Past… In the noir world both past and present are inextricably bound… One cannot escape one’s past… And only in confronting it can the noir protagonist hope for some kind of redemption, even if it is at the end of a gun.

The Fatalistic Nightmare. The noir world revolves around causality. Events are linked… and lead inevitably to a heavily foreshadowed conclusion. It is a deterministic universe in which psychology… and even the structures of society… can ultimately override whatever good intentions and high hopes the main characters may have.

(p. 15)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s