Philosophyguru's journey through the world of classic movies is not meant to be a guide to any specific genre, but to reflect upon some classic movies and provoke some thought.
As Walt Disney is quoted as saying, "I'd rather entertain and hope that people learn, than teach and hope that people are entertained."
Let us start by taking a look at some of our favorite film genres that will be discussed here.
Film-Noir is French for "black film"
Scholars debate on the definition of the genre. The primary literary influence on film noir was the hard-boiled school of American detective and crime fiction, and is generally regarded as stretching from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. A common formula for a Film-Noir is a cynical male lead and the interesting femme fatale. While not all are cut in the mold of the classic gangster flick, most are melodramas with some interaction between a strong male lead and a female, with one, if not both, of the characters having some type of social dysfunction. I can see why I like them so!
Classic Science Fiction: the interaction of science with society, for better or worse.
Classic film noir of the 1940s and 1950s deals with the American social landscape of the era often with a sense of heightened anxiety that is said to have followed World War II. The classic sci-fi flicks of the 1950s and 1960s were influenced by a similar sense of heightened anxiety of due to the the cold war.
Science Fiction by its very nature is philosophical, it speculates on how science and technology interact with society, for better or worse, and delves into social dilemmas posed by science and technology. While not all good sci-fi films are dystopian (society gone bad), the classics reflect the ideas and dreams of their time period, and usually deliver a message.
Living in a parallel universe to Film-Noir is the Science fiction noir.
A hybrid form of film noir and science fiction films is the Science fiction noir. Sometimes referred to as Future noir films, the Science fiction noir films are often set in a post-apocalyptic world with storylines in the aftermath of a disaster such as a nuclear holocaust, war, plague, that justifies a civilization's turn towards dystopian like behaviors.
A typical dystopia paints a picture of government or society attempting to exert control over free thought, authority, energy, freedom of information. There are also corporate based dystopias where the repressing power is a private company rather than a government.
Modern dystopian films function as a warning against some element of contemporary society. Similiar to the Film-Noir, the common thread is melodrama with a message.
Welcome to Philosophyguru's journey through the world of classic movies.
Copyright Tom Peracchio, Guru 42, A guru is a spiritual teacher, 42 is the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.