Window Blinds in Film Noir

This entry was posted on 22nd September 2010

Last night, I was watching Chinatown, a 1970s film noir, starring Jack Nicholson and was struck that Venetian blinds was mentioned at the opening scene. Curly, one of the film characters started to eat the Venetian blinds as he agonised over his wife's infidelity. If you're a film buff, you'd see that venetian blinds are a fixture in most film noir-style movies. Apparently, the horizontal Venetian slats of window blinds lend itself as a versatile tool for the director. Window blinds in film noir create vivid shadows that can be add visual tension to the scene. It also creates an unstable or ambivalent mood which is often found in film noir themes. Others create a feeling of imprisonment. The light that streams through the window blinds also create a feeling of confinement for the protagonist. It also symbolises the protagonist's quest for the truth. Since window blinds only give a partial view of events, you are left to wonder along with the protagonist which of these characters are deceitful or treacherous. For those who are unfamiliar with film noir, film noir is a term used in Hollywood from the 1940s to the 1950s to describe the crime dramas that dominated the industry in this era. Film noir which means “black film” in French was first used by the renowned film critic Nino Frank. The plot of these dramas feature protagonists that may be a private eye, a police man, or an ordinary citizen caught within a situation of crime. Apparently, window blinds are a favourite of film noir directors which can be seen in these dramatic moments: In Fritz Lang’s “The Woman in the Window,” Edward G. Robinson’s character Professor Richard Wanley is seen with window blinds shadows cast on him as he lectures about his theories on crime. In the 1953 film “The Big Heat,” Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame’s electrifying chemistry is magnified with the use of window blinds. These two scenes magnify the atmosphere of deceit and half-concealed truths. Another famous shot of vertical blinds are in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Killing” where vertical blinds dominate the racetrack robbery conspirators, effectively conveying that these criminals are headed to prison. Vertical blinds are also featured in the famous scene between Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson, adding visual tension to this story of the alienation one feels in modern times. These moments may seem dark and ominous, but you don’t have to feel claustrophobic with today’s modernised window blinds. With Controliss remote controlled blinds all bursting with colour, you will definitely create a light-hearted mood for your home. If intensity and drama is what you’re going for, then feel free to find our blinds in black and white and shades of grey and metal.

This Post was posted in Window Blinds and was tagged with film, french, Venetian Blinds, window blinds