More on this point can be read at the end of this essay. Film noir and its elements are enjoying a renaissance in the twenty-first century, thanks in no small part to the character archetype that is the femme fatale. She has been deconstructed ad nauseam by film critics as nothing more than post-WWII male fears over the growing power and influence of women in politics and the Rock Me Amadeus (The American Edit) - Falco - Rock Me Amadeus / Vienna Calling place.
As such, to these critics, the femme fatale is often viewed as the ultimate display and Femme Fatale - Lęk - Sweven (Through The Mysterious Lands) of misogyny. I take a very different view. She is pure lethal beauty, but she is intelligent enough to use that beauty and her cunning and intellect to her advantage. If anything, it has a more overtly feminist message: women can and should take control, even in a male dominated world.
That is why I love the femme fatale. She might not be moral, but she captivates with the sheer force of her will and she hypnotizes with her lethal beauty. Femme Fatale - Lęk - Sweven (Through The Mysterious Lands)where exactly did the femme fatale come from in modern cinema?
More Femme Fatale - Lęk - Sweven (Through The Mysterious Lands)where is she going? Those are two questions that will be examined here. Baby Face One of the earliest examples of a femme fataleand one of the most ruthless in Hollywood history, is undoubtedly Barbara Stanwyck as Lily Powers in Baby Face Lily Powers starts life as the lowly daughter of a poor speakeasy owner during Prohibition in the city.
It is here where Lily finds work at a big Manhattan bank and gleefully sleeps her way to the top, ruining everyone up to the bank president on her way and even causing one to attempt suicide an even more taboo subject in the s.
Look for a very young John Wayne as one of the men to be decimated in her path. The film is profoundly dark and had to be toned down especially for the New York state Board of Censors before it could be shown. Luckily, a dupe negative was created to preserve the film before the censor-demanded cuts were made. This dupe negative cut was only shown in in London.
Scarlet Street Christopher Cross Edward G. Robinson is a middle-aged cashier in Greenwich Village, New York who paints and avoids his rather surly wife in his spare time. Kitty and Johnny end up essentially conning Christopher into lavishing sums of money and even a full Greenwich Village studio apartment on Kitty that Christopher intends to use as his art space too.
Yet, ever the grifters, Johnny and Kitty end up convincing a prominent Manhattan art critic that she not Christopher painted the pieces hanging in their studio space. Yet, all such fantasies eventually have a point of detonation.
This one does when Christopher ultimately catches Kitty with Johnny, and she in no uncertain terms rejects Christopher. Gilda Rita Hayworth was one of the most visually stunning women ever to grace the nitrate in Hollywood. Gilda was arguably her breakout performance and what ultimately cemented her amongst the femme fatale goddesses in their pantheon. Indeed, Gilda slamming into Johnny is not just metaphorical: in the scene where Rita Hayworth slaps Glenn Your Place Or Mine - Various - Het Beste Uit Nederland Muziekland 92, she really broke two of his teeth.
Gilda is probably the best example of sheer passion and fire in a femme fatale. As a character, she has danced, immortal, like a sprite through the visions of men for over seventy years. Out of the Past We have now seen the ruthless, the sympathetic, Drinking Song - Rob Dougan - Furious Angels (CD, Album, Album) passionate, those in need of an escape, and the cold and calculating.
Yet, we have yet to examine quite possibly the most intriguing variant of the femme fatale : the ghost, the waif. Former private detective Jeff Bailey Robert Mitchum is forced to face his past when his partner and an ex-client find him in the small California town he is trying to make a new life in. Being dream-like, they are by definition very malleable too; that is, until he is forced to face her again in the present.
Vertigo Scottie is subsequently recruited by a friend to follow his wife Kim Novakwho has been acting strangely. Scottie observes her closely and sees really just what he wants to see: she is not so much a woman to him as a composite of what he believes a woman should be.
She is an archetype to him, a waif, and a ghost. As Madeline goes, so will Judy. Mulholland Dr. The depiction of the femme fatale in Mulholland Dr. The entire film is dream-like: thereby, the characters will also be. As shall be shown in the next entry though, the return of the purely ruthless femme fatale is upon us. Gone Girl She never anticipated that fate would beat her and her then-doting husband down.
So, she decides to put her absolutely scary and ruthless mind to work one day, faking her own murder and disappearance and blaming the lazy Nick for it. She gets away with it for some time, and the end of Gone Girl is really poetic justice of a very morbid sort upon her husband. Gillian Flynn, the writer of the screenplay, also penned the Gone Girl source novel, and her contribution and building of the character simply cannot be overvalued. Her brutality was monstrous, her moves in the game she set in motion in framing her husband and misleading the public was extraordinarily detailed, and her ambition boundless.
The Amy Dunne character heralds a return to the straight ruthless femme fatale not seen since Barbara Stanwyck in Baby Faceyet at the same time, taken to a new level of depravity. Play Violet for Me Play Violet for Me is the short film that inspired this look at the evolution of the femme fatale : to see where she Femme Fatale - Lęk - Sweven (Through The Mysterious Lands) from and perhaps where she is going.
Play Violet for Me also has Come Down In Time - Various - Two Rooms ● Celebrating The Songs Of Elton John & Bernie Taupin (Laser of the most inventive story lines ever seen in a short noir piece. A loner obsesses over Violet as his life unravels around him.
The film manages to accomplish something close to what Vertigo did, yet only in thirteen minutes. A bold statement, indeed, yet it is true. It can be watched for free here. It is truly astounding how something as simple as a thirteen minute short film can be so profound and sow an idea like this essay.
We have seen where the femme fatale came from. If Gone Girl and Play Violet for Me are a solid prognostication, future iterations on her look very, very bright. Sign in. Get started. Wess Haubrich Follow. Former Contributing editor thefourohfive.
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