Monday 21 February 2011

Studies of Film Noirishness, with Love

50+ new links added on February 27, 2011
The above is a short video primer by Catherine Grant. It offers an audiovisual introduction to issues of gender, sexuality and movement in relation to Rita Hayworth's performance as Gilda in Charles Vidor's 1946 film.

Film Studies For Free is delighted to present its own contribution to the remarkable fundraising effort for the Film Noir Foundation that has been taking place in the last week, namely the For the Love of Film (Noir) Blog-a-thon, organised by film critics Farran Smith Nehme (Self-Styled Siren) and Marilyn Ferdinand (of Ferdy on Film).

Awed by the contributions so far, FSFF proffers (above) a little video-primer on its favourite noir - Gilda - together with a reposting of Matt Zoller Seitz's fabulous audiovisual essay on The Prowler (also above), and a whole host of direct links (below) to openly accessible scholarly reading and viewing on Film Noir, and on all varieties of Neo-Noir, too - taken altogether, some of the most essential of film studies topics.

The Film Noir Foundation works to preserve and restore movies in its chosen mode from many eras and from many countries. The film nominated to be restored with monies raised this year is a fine and important noir called The Sound of Fury (aka Try and Get Me) directed by Cy Endfield (1914–1995).

One of the resources FSFF links to is an excellent interview with Endfield, conducted in 1989 by Brian Neve, in which he discusses that film in the context of his career as a whole and the historical events which formed the background to his work. Here's what Endfield concludes about The Sound of Fury.
I consider that my talent for making pictures was best expressed in two pictures, Zulu and The Sound of Fury. I think the one big talent I have is to make big pictures. There is a sense of structure about something of dimension that I have found lacking even in pictures that were supposed to be big. [...] The Sound of Fury was made mostly from my blood circulation and nervous system. 
FSFF knows that feeling only too well! It can't wait to see the restored film. So, please, if you love Film Noir, join this blog's author in donating some of your hard-earned dough (or even some of your ill-begotten gains...) on this occasion. Just click here. Thank you!
                    Note: The first video essay (by Catherine Grant) embedded at the top of this post was made according to principles of Fair Use/Fair Dealing, primarily with scholarly and critical aims, and was published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License in February 2011. If you found this video or FSFF's Film Noir entry useful or enjoyable, please consider supporting with a donation the valuable work of the Film Noir Foundation. Thank you.


                      Unknown said...

                      wow! such a great idea starting this blog. love your video essays, and looking forward to seeing them all. i'm a film scholar as well and i plan to publish some of my essays (semiotic reading of the fountain, study of race in tv's friends, gender in sin city) on my blog

                      i would love to hear your opinion on them, when they're up!

                      keep up the good work!

                      girish said...

                      Catherine, I really loved the video primer. Your fans want more of these! Thank you.

                      Catherine Grant said...

                      Thanks guys. Stefan, good luck with your blog! Girish, I'm certainly going to do more video primers - they are fun to make! Thanks a lot for your encouragement.