Good Media Comparisoncomparision – Film Noir In Double Indemnity And Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Essay Example
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The genre or film noir started in the 1940s and 1950s, and in its classic form is shown to have stark eExpressionistic black-and-white cinematography, labyrinthine crimes and mysteries and as well as an overall cynical look stance towards theat the world wherein they existin which they are surrounded. One of the most prominent noirs of the mid- -20th twentieth century is Double Indemnity, directed by Billy Wilder in 1944. The film, which follows features an insurance investigator who hatches a plotplans a scheme t to kill his lover’s husband for a giant payout on his insurance. While the plots of these films were treated with absolute gravity, se films took themselves deadly seriously, neo-noir plays based on similar themeswith these same ideas in a in a modern settings, often took on taking a satirical or at times comical turnor comedic bend to them. This A case in point is is the case with 2005’s KKiss Kiss Bang Bang, released in 2005. dDirected by Shane Black, the film stars and starring RRobert Downey Jr. as a down-on-his-luck petty thief who finds himself playing the unwitting detective while out in auditioning for a film in Los AngelesLA to audition for a film. These Bothtwo films epitomize represent two distinentirely ctly different contexts – Double Indemnity showcases the hard-boiled world of detective fiction as asset in depicted represented in the WWII-era white America, while Kiss Kiss reflects the self-referential world of modern-day cinema, as well as the iInternet age and the shallowness of Hollywood.
Disparities in the The films’ differences settings are most distinctly characterized brought out byin their respective lead characters, the hard-boiled noir protagonists who must navigate the seedy world they are placed in. In Double Indemnity, Walter Neff (Fred Macmurray) is a stoic, masculine man who remains collected and ccalm and unruffled with regards to his business; this is necessitated by his character comes from the need in these kinds of stories to match the traditional masculine values of 20th-twentieth century America, in wherewhich men were meant looked upon asto be tough protectors who could never reveal anyshow vulnerability. However, Robert Downey the character of Jr.’s Harry Lockhart portaryed by Robert Downey is the in stark contrast to that of Walter Neff. opposite of that –Harry is a twitchy, stammering wimp who is able to quick-think his way out of situations, but frequently is prone to makes making mistakes along the way. He is hardly ever the brave, masculine hero, always being punished for doing so - one early scene sees depicts him giving a brave, noir-esque speech to a bad guy about taking him on, only for the film to cut to Harry getting brutally, and pathetically beaten up. Harry’s character comments on characters like Walter Neff, downplaying the inherent masculinity of these roles.
Usually, these such protagonists have a foil as well; , and this comes in the form of fellow insurance investigator Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) in Double Indemnity and “Gay” Perry (Val Kilmer) in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Both men are incredibly sharp, but while Keyes ends up being on Neff’s tail for the crime he has committed, Perry is frequently by Harry’s side through his solving of the mystery, though this is also undercut by his constant mocking and deriding of Harry. The post-modernist spin on the sidekick in Kiss Kiss is that Perry is aportrayed as a gay man. This crops up, which comes up quite frequently in the story – as a detective, Perry will often uses gay panic to intimidate thugs into showing weakness so that he can make his move, and is comedically comically prissy in at all the right moments instances (without overplaying his homosexuality and turning himself into a punchline). In this respect, the self-serious Keyes is commented on with the slightly goofier, irreverent Perry, showing a modern age that is sufficiently aware of film noir tropes to comment upon them.
Given the differing approaches to the film noir genre and stock characters that Double Indemnity and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang showcases, it is clear apparent that mid-twentieth that mid-20th century America takes took its hard-boiled detective mysteries very seriously, while the modern day era places higheris much more concern onned with issues of commenting onof culture, whileand comedically comically undercutting the seriousness of these tropestopicstropes. While Walter Neff and Keyes navigate a serious, dark world of intrigue and mystery, Harry and Perry bumble and catfight their way through a mystery that, in the diegesis narration of the film, is itself culled from dime-store mystery novels. Thus,In this way, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a self-referential exploration of films like Double Indemnity, lending new context to an old genre all the while keeping it fresh.
Figure 1: Noir protagonists of Double Indemnity and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang recording their thoughts for posterity.
Figure 1. The noir protagonists of Double Indemnity and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, recording their thoughts for posterity.
Figure 2: Theme of paranoia and darkness in both classic and neo-noir, with the leads being introspective.
Figure 2. Paranoia and darkness are a theme in both classic and neo-noir, with the leads being introspective.
Figure 3. neo-noir adapts the 'sidekick' character from an eqully shrewd best friend to a catty, self-aware gay PI.
Figure 3: Neo-noir adapts the 'sidekick' character from an equally shrewd best friend to a catty, self-aware gay PI.
Black, S. (dir.) (2005). Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Perf. Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle
Monaghan. Warner Bros, Pictures.
Leitch, T. M. (2002). Crime Films. Cambridge University Press.
McNulty, E & Pulham, P. (2011). Crime Culture: Figuring Criminality in Fiction and
Film. Continuum International Publishing Group.
Naremore, J. (2008). More than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts. University of California Press.
Packer, S. (2007). Movies and the Modern Psyche. Greenwood Publishing Group.
Wilder, B. (dir). (1944). Double Indemnity. Perf. Fred MacMurray, Barbra Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson. Paramount Pictures.
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