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Word of the Day – Monday, July 16



Word of the Day


Clever Clue of the Month

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NOIR (nwahr)

1. French word for black
2. Crime fiction featuring tough, cynical characters and bleak sleazy settings
Common clues: Roulette bet; Pinot ____; Black in Burgundy;
Cafe ____ (black coffee); Word with cafe or film; Film ____; Film trailer?
Crossword puzzle frequency: 4 times a year
Frequency in English language: 23728 / 86800
The Rules of Film Noir

Film noir is a film style and mood primarily associated with crime films, that portrays its principal characters in a nihilistic and existentialist world. Film noir is primarily derived from the hard-boiled style of crime fiction of the Depression era, (many films noir were adaptations of such novels), and may first be clearly seen in films released in the early 1940s. 'Noirs' were historically made in black and white, and had a dark, high-contrast style with roots in German Expressionist cinematography.

This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style of film noir at its most extreme. John Alton, the film's cinematographer, created many of the iconic images of film noir.

The term film noir (French for "black film") was unknown to the filmmakers and actors while they were creating the classic films noir. Film noir was defined in retrospect by film historians and critics; many of the creators of film noir later professed to be unaware at the time of having created a distinctive type of film.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Film noir”