From “The X-Rays” (1897), a trick film in which a flirting couple are suddenly show as an “X-ray.” Creepy mix of love and skeletons, huh? Sort of like a memento mori.
Film Noir (from the French meaning Black Film) is a genre of cinema that emerged during the early 1940s and continued until the late 1950s. It is characterised by it’s distintive stylisation of cinematography and it’s focus on crime, mystery and sex. Taking many cues from early German expressionism, Film Noir offered an immersive thematic experience that was very different to that of other contemporary melodramas. Several techniques and plot devices came to define the genre, including voiceovers, the inventive use of light and shadow, the protagonist’s need to seek out some truth, and the famed ‘femme fatale’ figure.
A young Sigourney Weaver
Joni Mitchell, Laurel Canyon, 1969
La Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil - Dangerous Liaisons (1988)