By Julie Grossman
The 'femme fatale' determine in movie noir has lengthy served as a principal defining function of those wealthy and compelling movies of the post-war American interval. In Rethinking the Femme Fatale in movie Noir, Julie Grossman exhibits the level to which the ladies frequently labelled as 'femmes fatales' are actually sympathetic smooth girls, whose tales of power, wit and privation command fascination. This learn undertakes to erode the class of the 'femme fatale' in favour of cautious shut readings of movie noir and a bigger attention of the drawbacks of labelling girls as angels and 'femmes fatales', a perverse cultural inheritance from the Victorian period. furthermore, the e-book bargains a case for reorienting recognition in stories of movie noir clear of the slim building of the 'femme fatale' phantom and towards a extra open receptivity to the colourful ladies, the compelling girl narrative, and the imagery sympathetic to either that, Grossman argues, are all quite often on supply in movie noir.
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Extra info for Rethinking the Femme Fatale in Film Noir: Ready for Her Close-Up
However, the contrast shouldn’t keep us from reading the film on its own terms and in relation to other representations of women, domesticity, and desire in film noir. While it is the case that the novel is preoccupied with presenting Cora in animal terms (language about biting hell cats and cougars is almost obsessively repeated in the first pages of the novel), in the film, Cora’s ambition to “be somebody” and make a successful business of the Twin Oaks (beyond her place as wife and cook) characterizes her subjectivity.
Lake’s character responds, “Why is it hard to say goodbye? You’ve never seen me before,” to which Johnny replies, “Every guy’s seen you. ” A remarkable instance of the process of transforming a woman into only an image of generalized male desire for the perfect woman, Joyce Harwood exists absolutely in Johnny’s mind. A real woman couldn’t ever live up to the preexisting image of Joyce as angel. In The Blue Dahlia, there is thus a kind of inevitability in the fact that Johnny Morrison turns on Joyce when he discovers she is married to Film Noir’s “Femmes Fatales” 33 her estranged husband Harwood, played by Howard Da Silva.
114) Bronfen takes as her subject Phyllis Dietrichson, one of the very few (I would argue) “pure” “femmes fatales” in film noir, thus reinforcing our critical tendency to equate the unequivocably dangerous women in noir with all of the complicated female characters in these films. However, the appeal to readers to “recognize her as a separate human being, exceeding [Neff’s] appropriation of her and, in so doing, exhibiting an agency of her own” moves us in an interesting and productive feminist direction, I believe, since it suggests avenues for reimagining female presence in film noir as meaningful and as multifaceted.