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October 1999, Week 4


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Peter Warren <[log in to unmask]>
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Wed, 27 Oct 1999 12:30:34 -0400
text/plain (45 lines)
Well, a femme fatale is a femme fatale - sex and duplicity....... In the
heyday of classic film noir, roughly from the mid forties to the mid
fifties, the Hollywood Production Code was very much in effect, so sexual
activity was suggested rather than shown. This translated into loaded
dialogue, double entendres, the cigarette smoking ritual, and a few chaste
kisses.   Also, before "womens lib" came along, a femme fatale usually had
to hook on to a man to carry out her nefarious schemes (eg:  The Maltese
Falcon: Double Indemnity: Out Of The Past; The Postman Always Rings Twice).
With modern film noir, a femme fatale often operates more independently
(eg: The Grifters), and sexual activity is graphically shown rather than
hinted at. For instance, compare the seduction scene in the 1946 and the
1981 versions of The Postman Always Rings Twice. Also, femme fatales can
get away with a much higher level of violence (and profanity) in modern
film noir than they could in the classic period, following the general
trend in film and other popular entertainment, and the demise of the
Production Code in the late sixties. I hope these few brief remarks will be
of assistance.
Peter Warren

> From: Paul Jennings <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: CFP: Film Adaptation
> Date: Wednesday, October 27, 1999 10:14 AM
> thanks for your e-mail i have read it and taken it into consideration
> I am woundering if any one can help me - i need to find out information
> about the changing ideas of the old 40s noir femme fatals compared to the
> femme fatals of neo-noir film - if you or any one you know has any
> information on this i would appreciate an e-mail
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