MODERN NOIR

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This week lets dip into the black heels and the rouged lips with a focus on noir. A film that captures the heart of this genre perfectly is 1944's Double Indemnity, directed by Billy Wilder, co-written with Raymond Chandler, based on the James M. Cain novel and starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck (phew).. Oh the outfits…and the shadows…and the cigarettes…and the outfits. You could talk about the birth of noir, the culmination of light and dark, and mis en scene, none of which should be overlooked, but when it comes down to it, what I saw this last time around screening it were the outfits! Oh sweet Barbara Stanwyck, you had me at your towel entrance and never let go. I followed you through shadow drenched, spanish tiled Hollywood mansions to dark, confining phone booths, listening to your purring, honey dripped voice beguile Fred MacMurray into murder, only to find myself completely transfixed by your fuzzy slipper heels and amazing cocktail rings. Don’t get me started on how cool this sister looks in sunglasses. This is the quintessential white angora sweater scene stealer. See this movie for its rightful heir as one of Hollywood’s top noir billings, but stay for Stanwyck’s first go at the femme fatale role, tailored to perfection.