Now you have worked through the study activities and considered L A Noire as a text with genre conventions and a particular mode of narration, this activity requires you to create something new to show your textual understanding of L A Noire in a practical context.
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Now you have worked through the study activities and considered L A Noire as a text with genre conventions and a particular mode of narration, this activity requires you to create something new to show your textual understanding of L A Noire in a practical context.
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Now you have worked through the study activities and considered L A Noire as a text with genre conventions and a particular mode of narration, this activity requires you to create something new to show your textual understanding of L A Noire in a practical context.
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I feel that LA Noire offers an introduction to the noire genre in several ways; I must add here that before playing the game I was fairly unfamiliar with this particular genre. It certainly has the characteristics of noir, featuring a troubled detective as the protagonist, solving crimes that put him in moral quandaries and also danger. I feel from playing this game, I could describe the key elements of the genre. The game also uses visual similarities to the noir genre; such as the black and white introductions to each new crime, and the cut scenes that hint at the terrible deeds that have taken place, without being to revealing. Other minor details in the game hint at the genre, such as the title screen with it’s black and white ‘movie reel’ feel (sorry, it’s the only way I could think of describing it) and if considering the game as piece of art, details such as this are important.
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Film noir’s portrayal of the “femme fatale” supports the existing social order by building up a powerful, independent woman, only to punish her. To what extent do you agree with this in relation to the portrayal of women in ‘LA Noire’?

Elsa is the perfect example of the femme fatale her character becomes an object of mystery and enchantment for Cole, leading him to pursue a relationship with her. She becomes independent and the center of his (and the players) attention as she sets out to help Cole in his investigation. However her character is shown to be nothing more than a weak, susceptible woman as she takes Fontaine at face value. She is much too trusting and therefore ends up paying the price for her troubles. At the end she too is taken hostage and eventually she not only loses her respect but also her powerful persona. She is able to bend Cole’s mind to do her bidding however she is not able to do this to everyone, Fontaine is a good example of this. Psychologically she is clearly a powerful woman with the ability to draw in the people around her however she is unable to physically manifest this ability. The only true punishment I would say she endures is the loss of Cole. However is Cole’s death really a punishment for her? Cole seems to be the one to have the biggest punishment he loses his family, his job, his credibility and his life all of his own accord and by his own doing. She herself does not die she is still alive, so is this not a triumph? Perhaps her relationship suffers but she does not pay the price that Cole has to pay. In my opinion I would say Cole is the one to truly pay the price with his life. The rest of the characters are a byproduct of his efforts and his decisions. Therefore I would say that the role of the femme fatale covertly triumphs in this game. Elsa steadily begins to excel in the background of the game; she is the one to rise whilst Cole begins a slow destructive decline, leading to his own downfall.

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As I have been quite remiss in posting this, my final response, I have actually decided to tackle both questions, yet in different ways, firstly “Film noir’s portrayal of the “femme fatale” supports the existing social order by building up a powerful, independent woman, only to punish her. To what extent do you agree with this in relation to the portrayal of women in ‘LA Noire’?” I shall attempt to tackle from the perspective of an English Student.
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It can be argued to what extent that LA Noire is a good introduction to the idea of genre. The game attempts to homage the noir genre of film, popular in the 1940s – noir films usually featured morally ambigous detectives, often with a troubled past, who investigates a complex crime, encountering dangerous criminals and femme fatales, with the conclusion coming at a great personal cost to the protagonist. Noir can also be identified by its use of various visual techniques and iconography, especially the lighting and cinematography.
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Film noir’s portrayal of the “femme fatale” supports the existing social order by building up a powerful, independent woman, only to punish her. To what extent do you agree with this in relation to the portrayal of women in ‘LA Noire’?

The main female character in LA Noire is Elsa, who players with experience with Film Noir may immediately assume to be a Femme Fatale. However, she deems to deliberately subvert this expectation. Elsa is in fact not powerful – she is overemotional and has a drug problem that is aided by her employers. However, she is one of the “good” guys of the game, helping Cole Phelps and Jack Kelso where she can.
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Either: Film noir’s portrayal of the “femme fatale” supports the existing social order by building up a powerful, independent woman, only to punish her.
To what extent do you agree with this in relation to the portrayal of women in ‘LA Noire’?
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LA Noire is set in 1940s Los Angeles. To what extent do you feel that this game would provide an effective introduction to the concept of genre? What are the key characteristics of noir? In your answer you should consider form, structure and language, as well as subject matter.
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