Essay on William Penn 's Night Moves

1887 Words Dec 14th, 2016 8 Pages
Arthur Penn’s Night Moves (1975) follows ex pro-football player turned private eye Harry Moseby (Gene Hackman), as he tries to unravel a case centered around a missing 16-year-old girl. The story constantly shifts between Moseby’s attempts to solve the case centered around Delly, the missing 16-year-old, and his attempts to keep his life, and sense of self from unravelling following the revelation of his wife’s affair. Night Moves is a prime example of neo-noir that is very self-aware of its classic noir film roots and uses its protagonists paranoia, and constantly crumbling sense of self to reflect a breakdown in confidence of a post-Watergate America. In a general sense Night Moves, almost blatantly at times, declares itself a neo noir film. Neo-noir takes elements of classic film noir of the 1940s and 1950s, such as detective stories, private eyes, and femme fatales, and blends them with updated themes, content, and visual styles. Like most neo-noir, Night Moves uses many of the classic film noir tropes, such as a private eye protagonist, a case that needs to be solved, and a case for a femme fatale in the character of Paula. There are examples of neo-noir films before the 1970s, such as Point Blank (1967), however, the social anxiety and loss of governmental faith that developed in 1970s America was the perfect catalyst to create many neo noir classics such as Chinatown (1974), Dirty Harry (1971), and The Long Goodbye (1973). In Andy Willis’ article “Neo-Noir: The…

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