Film gris

Film gris (French for "grey film"), a term coined by Thom Andersen, is a type of film noir which categorizes a unique series of films that were released between 1947 and 1951. They came in the context of the first wave of the communist investigations of the House Un-American Activities Committee. [1] [2]

Thematic elements

Films gris offer a leftist criticism of society in general, and of capitalism in particular. They typically examine such themes as the psychological damages of class, the false promises of middle class happiness, and the pitfalls of materialism.[3]

Distinction from film noir

Film gris differs from film noir in some of the following ways:

  • Film gris is a little more pessimistic and cynical than film noir. The dividing line between crime and law enforcement is often blurred.
  • Films gris tend to blame society rather than the individual. For example, films gris will tend to focus less on what a criminal is doing, and more on how society has produced the criminal class.
  • The audience identification is often with the collective in a way atypical of Hollywood films.
  • The femme fatale’s motives are more obvious and easier to identify than in film noir.

[4]

List of films gris

Andersen identifies the following as films gris:

[5]

See also

Sources

  • Andersen, Thom. "Red Hollywood." Literature and the Visual Arts in Contemporary Society. Eds. Suzanne Ferguson and Barbara S. Groseclose. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. (1985).
  • Hirsch, Joshua. "Film Gris Reconsidered." The Journal of Popular Film and Television 34.2. (2006).
  • Maland, Charles. "Film Gris: Crime, Critique, and Cold War Culture in 1951." Film Criticism 26.3. (2002).

References

  1. ^ "Film Gris": Crime, Critique and Cold War Culture in 1951 on JSTOR
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2] "Un-American" Hollywood: Politics and Film in the Blacklist Era edited by Frank Krutnik, Steve Neale, Brian Neve, Peter Stanfield-Google Books
  4. ^ [3] Historical Dictionary of Film Noir By Andrew Spicer-Google Books
  5. ^ MUBI
Acid Western

Acid Western is a subgenre of the Western film that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s that combines the metaphorical ambitions of critically acclaimed Westerns, such as Shane and The Searchers, with the excesses of the Spaghetti Westerns and the outlook of the counterculture of the 1960s. Acid Westerns subvert many of the conventions of earlier Westerns to "conjure up a crazed version of autodestructive white America at its most solipsistic, hankering after its own lost origins".

Film noir

Film noir (; French: [film nwaʁ]) is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classical film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1920s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key, black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Great Depression.

The term film noir, French for "black film" (literal) or "dark film" (closer meaning), was first applied to Hollywood films by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, but was unrecognized by most American film industry professionals of that era. Cinema historians and critics defined the category retrospectively. Before the notion was widely adopted in the 1970s, many of the classic film noir were referred to as "melodramas". Whether film noir qualifies as a distinct genre is a matter of ongoing debate among scholars.

Film noir encompasses a range of plots: the central figure may be a private investigator (The Big Sleep), a plainclothes policeman (The Big Heat), an aging boxer (The Set-Up), a hapless grifter (Night and the City), a law-abiding citizen lured into a life of crime (Gun Crazy), or simply a victim of circumstance (D.O.A.). Although film noir was originally associated with American productions, the term has been used to describe films from around the world. Many films released from the 1960s onward share attributes with film noirs of the classical period, and often treat its conventions self-referentially. Some refer to such latter-day works as neo-noir. The clichés of film noir have inspired parody since the mid-1940s.

List of apocalyptic films

This is a list of apocalyptic feature-length films. All films within this list feature either the end of the world, a prelude to such an end (such as a world taken over by a viral infection), and/or a post-apocalyptic setting.

Meat pie Western

Meat pie Western, also known as Australian Western or kangaroo Western, is a broad genre of Western-style films or TV series set in the Australian outback or "the bush". Films about bushrangers (sometimes called bushranger films) are included in this genre. Some films categorised as meat-pie or Australian Westerns also fulfil the criteria for other genres, such as drama, revisionist Western, crime or thriller.

The term "meat pie Western" is a play on the term Spaghetti Western, used for Italian-made Westerns, relating in both cases to foods are regarded as national dishes.

Opera film

An opera film is a recording of an opera on film.

Robert Rossen

Robert Rossen (March 16, 1908 – February 18, 1966) was an American screenwriter, film director, and producer whose film career spanned almost three decades.

His 1949 film All the King's Men won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, while Rossen was nominated for an Oscar as Best Director. He won the Golden Globe for Best Director and the film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture. In 1961 he directed The Hustler, which was nominated for nine Oscars and won two.

After directing and writing for the stage in New York, Rossen moved to Hollywood in 1937. There he worked as a screenwriter for Warner Bros. until 1941, and then interrupted his career to serve until 1944 as the chairman of the Hollywood Writers Mobilization, a body to organize writers for the effort in World War II. In 1945 he joined a picket line against Warner Bros. After making one film for Hal Wallis's newly formed production company, Rossen made one for Columbia Pictures, another for Wallis and most of his later films for his own companies, usually in collaboration with Columbia.

Rossen was a member of the American Communist Party from 1937 to about 1947, and believed the Party was "dedicated to social causes of the sort that we as poor Jews from New York were interested in."He ended all relations with the Party in 1949. Rossen was twice called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), in 1951 and in 1953. He exercised his Fifth Amendment rights at his first appearance, refusing to state whether he had ever been a Communist. As a result, he found himself blacklisted by Hollywood studios as well as unable to renew his passport. At his second appearance he named 57 people as current or former Communists and his blacklisting ended. In order to repair finances he produced his next film, Mambo, in Italy in 1954. While The Hustler in 1961 was a great success, conflicts on the set of Lilith so disillusioned him that it was his last film.

Romanian New Wave

The Romanian New Wave (Romanian: Noul val românesc) is a genre of realist and often minimalist films made in Romania since the mid-aughts, starting with two award-winning shorts by two Romanian directors, namely Cristi Puiu's Cigarettes and Coffee, which won the Short Film Golden Bear at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival, and Cătălin Mitulescu's Trafic, which won the Short Film Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival later that same year.

Silent film

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound (and in particular, no audible dialogue). In silent films for entertainment, the plot may be conveyed by the use of title cards, written indications of the plot and key dialogue lines. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, the introduction of synchronized dialogue became practical only in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the advent of the Vitaphone system. The term "silent film" is a misnomer, as these films were almost always accompanied by live sounds. During the silent-film era that existed from the mid-1890s to the late 1920s, a pianist, theater organist—or even, in large cities, a small orchestra—would often play music to accompany the films. Pianists and organists would play either from sheet music, or improvisation. Sometimes a person would even narrate the intertitle cards for the audience. Though at the time the technology to synchronize sound with the video did not exist, music was seen as an essential part of the viewing experience.

The term silent film is a retronym—a term created to retroactively distinguish something. Early sound films, starting with The Jazz Singer in 1927, were variously referred to as the "talkies," "sound films," or "talking pictures." Within a decade, the widespread production of silent films for popular entertainment had ceased, and the industry had moved fully into the sound era, in which movies were accompanied by synchronized sound recordings of spoken dialogue, music and sound effects.

Most early motion pictures are considered lost because the nitrate film used in that era was extremely unstable and flammable. Additionally, many films were deliberately destroyed because they had little value in the era before home video. It has often been claimed that around 75 percent of silent films have been lost, though these estimates may be inaccurate due to a lack of numerical data.

The Lawless

The Lawless is a 1950 American film noir directed by Joseph Losey and features Macdonald Carey, Gail Russell and Johnny Sands.A newspaper editor in California becomes concerned about the plight of the state's fruit pickers, mostly immigrants from Mexico. Film critic Thom Andersen identified The Lawless as one example of film gris, a more cynical variety of film noir with leftist themes. The film was also released as The Dividing Line.

Thom Andersen

Thom Andersen (born 1943 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American filmmaker, film critic and teacher.

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