Is Film Noir a Genre, or a Style?


Most of the authors in film studies agree on the sources of film noir. It is based on German Expressionism, pre-code Hollywood movies, French poetic realism, and the pulp fictions of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Cornell Woolrich. In addition to those, who seem to know what film noir movies mean. According to Nathaniel Rich, film noir, which is a film genre, tells someone who is pushed to be anti-hero with the distinctive filming techniques (light-shadow contrast) and narrative features in a degenerated world. The authors, studying film noir, do not come to consensus whether film noir is a genre or not. Most of them bring different approaches to the issue, and it is hard to define film noir notion in this perspective. This study is based on the arguments of the views of Foster Hirsch, James Damico, Raymond Durgnat, Paul Schrader and James Naremore. Some of those authors argue that film noir a genre is; some argues film noir is a style. The aim of this study is to analyze what the genre orthe style of film noir is through the films.