Film Noir The Femme Fatale Essay

943 Words Mar 17th, 2015 4 Pages
Screwball comedy attempts to invert these several characteristics of film noir in order to create a more light-hearted approach to filmmaking. Like film noir, screwball comedy is an American genre that became popular during the Great Depression. Its purpose was to instill a feeling of hope within the audience through its romantic storylines. As film noir did, screwball comedy provided an escape for Americans. However, in screwball comedy, they look at the bright side in film noir, the characters are more brooding. Male and female characters play an important role in these genres because gender identities are reconstructed in both. The difference is the screwball female controls the relationship with the screwball male by challenging his masculinity. The femme fatale plays a role that is meant to take down the male protagonist. However, in film noir the femme fatale is eventually overpowered by the leading male. The females in these films are constantly questioning or contradicting the actions of the male. An antithetical tone connects screwball comedy and film noir. They have a symbiotic relationship that allows them to complement one another. Film noir is the colder, darker half and screwball comedy is the warmer, lighter half. Screwball comedy has elements of gender identities that are contrasting to those of film noir. First, there is the charming, self-confident woman in screwball whose optimistic, carefree tendencies contrast with film noir’s self-serving, manipulative…

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