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Dim rooms with light severing through venetian blinds alleys cluttered with garbage deserted warehouses where dust hangs in the air rain-slicked streets with water still running in the gutters dark detective offices overlooking busy streets This is film noir a perfect blend of form and content where the hopelessness of the situations is echoed in the visual style which douses the world in shadows and only scarce bursts of sunlight Film noir is a style of American films that evolved in the 1940s and lasted until about 1960 The primary moods of classic film noir are melancholy estrangement bleakness failure pessimism moral corruption evil guilt and paranoia The females in film noir are usually femme fatales - mysterious double-crossing gorgeous unloving predatory unreliable irresponsible manipulative and desperate women Film noir films often in grays blacks and whites show the dark and inhumane side of human nature with cynicism and doomed love and they emphasize the unhealthy shadowy dark and sadistic sides of the human experience A typical film noir portrays an everyday man living a normal life until he meets a mysterious and seductive woman the femme fatale who entangles him into a web of deceit crime and corruption from which he can never disentangle himself The femme fatale in Billy Wilders Double Indemnity is Phyllis Dietrichson and the likeable but amoral male character is Walter Neff From her determined heels clicking down the stairs at her first meeting with Neff to her planned perfectly calculated deadly finale she is cool and in complete control No pity no excuses no nerves Phyllis is attractive and with the appeal of the smooth the powerful the fatal Shes the ultimate of confidence but inside theres a steel trap coiled and waiting to spring In her initial meeting with Neff she plans her moves for effect She uses her anklet her perfume and her sensuality As she and Neff test each other its
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