Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
1958, from French, literally "black film," from noir (12c.), from Latin niger (see Negro).
n. A film characterized by low-key lighting, a bleak urban setting, and corrupt, cynical or desperate characters.
The film noir genre generally refers to mystery and crime dramas produced from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Movies of this genre were characteristically shot in black and white, and featured stories involving femmes fatales, doomed heroes or anti-heroes, and tough, cynical detectives.
The term film noir, French for "black film" (literal) or "dark film" (closer meaning), first applied to Hollywood films by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, 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 films 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 eye ( 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, films now so described have been made around the world. Many pictures released from the 1960s onward share attributes with film noir of the classical period, and often treat its conventions self-referentially. Some refer to such latter-day works as neo-noir.
Film Noir is singer-songwriter Carly Simon's twenty-second album, nineteenth studio album, and third album devoted to standards, released in 1997. Jimmy Webb co-produced the album and contributed his vocals, orchestration and piano skills to the project which was filmed for an AMC documentary (which premiered in September 1997). He also co-wrote the title song "Film Noir" with Simon. John Travolta duets with Simon on the song "Two Sleepy People". Film director Martin Scorsese provided liner notes in the fold out booklet.
Usage examples of "film noir".
Neill and screenplay writer Roy Chanslor made an extremely free adaptation of the Woolrich novel, but one that somehow stayed so true to the dark spirit of the source that it stands out as one of the finest examples of -film noir- ever made in the United States.
They'd spent one long afternoon trapped together on a long bodyguard job, different clients, trading film noir trivia.
She'd bought it a half hour before, had written Film Noir 101 on the cover, then smeared the ink with her palm to age it, like a master forger.
Tachyon arrived dressed like a foreign correspondent from some film noir classic, in a trench coat covered with belts, buttons, and epaulettes, a snap-brim fedora rakishly tilted to one side.
Everything from Fritz Lang's Metropolis to 1950's Hollywood film noir to French graphic novels to Terry Gilliam's Brazil bear upon his film.
He'd introduced me to old films, and when I was sixteen we'd gone to a film noir festival at the Tivoli in St.
Hed introduced me to old films, and when I was sixteen wed gone to a film noir festival at the Tivoli in St.