FINAL QUESTIONS

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Ok, here are the final questions. This time you have a choice, so please post a response to one of these two by midnight on Monday April 30th:

 

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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Or: ‘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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  1. i7931482 / Apr 30th, 2012 18:01 Quote

    ‘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.

    I believe L.A. Noire does provide an effective introduction into this genre. It provides the cynical attitudes and sexual stereotypes typically associated with noir. It is very dramatic with Hollywood elements, particularly the climactic ending, and feels like a detailed criminal drama. You search for the clues and interrogate the witnesses as you would expect to see when looking at a genre like this. There is also the added, slightly dark, element that the player can be wrong and select the incorrect person as the guilty party (however it could be argued that the criminals are always caught/get their comeuppance in a typical Hollywood film of this genre). Also, when politics is involved it is sometimes ignored so the members of the police can protect themselves from a backlash; this issue is often addressed by films of this genre as a central plot point. It has cinematic elements and the feel of a typical old-fashioned Hollywood crime theme, with black and white often being the dominant colours in places (particularly the opening menu). It can also be quite violent, for example the very first case you are tasked with is a brutal (evidenced by the amount of blood) murder with the disturbing added element that no one really seems to care about the death beyond it being a slight inconvenience to them. Women are often portrayed as victims (objects?) that need saving or as self-serving and untrustworthy while men are firmly in control, as would be expected by how gender was perceived at the time. It also could be seen as melodramatic at times, for example Phelps’s voiceover could be seen as over-the-top occasionally, and this element is often associated with the genre of noir.

    Therefore, the game is an effective introduction to the genre as it contains the expected elements while retaining the dark mood which would be expected of it.

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