Annie Laurie Starr in Gun Crazy

Annie’s play dates in Gun Crazy (1950): United States Glendale Central Library Sat 21 Oct Wild Animals by Barbette: Wild Animals (Gun Crazy, 1950)  

Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct

Catherine’s play dates in Basic Instinct (1992): United Kingdom London BFI Southbank Tue 7 Nov United Kingdom London BFI Southbank Sat 11 Nov  

Darkness Descends (Double Indemnity, 1944)

For the Femme Fatale distance and intimacy are very potent weapons. When used interchangeably, and in nonsensical order, it bestows upon her the power to confuse and bewilder her victim. Add on an intoxicating dose of gutsy sex appeal, and we have a drug so powerful it will floor even the most hardboiled of men. …

The Black Cat (The Killers, 1946)

To watch the leading lady in a Film Noir is to observe a cat stalk its way through the story in which she singles out one victim, and unswervingly goes in for the merciless kill.  Throughout ‘The Killers’ plenty of cute clues are dropped about Kitty’s catlike nature. Her embodiment of a seductive cat is…

The Call of the Siren (Out of the Past, 1947) Part 1

Not only is classic Film Noir literally shot in sharp contrasts of black and white, one of a Noir’s most vital characteristics is it’s propensity for playing with polarity.  On top of unexcelled Film Noir cinematography, Out of the Past’s visual language and dialogues are very telling. Little truths about character and destination are disclosed…

The Call of the Siren (Out of the Past, 1947) part 2

It is former acquaintance Joe who has found his way into the town where Jeff has been building his new, respectable life. Joe has come on behalf of Whit Sterling, a dubious businessman looking to rehire Jeff on a very personal, particular case.  Jeff’s first reaction is reluctant, but then he decides to go. He…

Scratch When It Itches (The Big Sleep, 1946)

When private detective Philip Marlowe first enters the mansion of his new client Mr. Sternwood (an older man hiring him to look into a blackmailing case that might have something to do with one or two of his wanton daughters), he walks into daughter one, Carmen. Who, after coyly inspecting him, greets him teasingly: “you…

Wild Animals (Gun Crazy, 1950)

The Femme Fatale is exceptional at making it appear as if she is the one that’s being pursued. Meanwhile, it was her plan all along… This cunning creature observes, plots and schemes in order to secure her position. Once she has picked her prey she determines her strategy based on their characteristics. Your weakness is…

Creating a Monster (Sunset Boulevard, 1950) part 1

Who has seen Sunset Boulevard will have a hard time forgetting that haunting last staircase scene in which Norma Desmond descends into an abyss of flashing cameras, scorching stage lighting, journalists, policemen and onlookers. She is finally happy now the spotlight is back on her again, even if she had to kill for it. The…

Creating a Monster (Sunset Boulevard, 1950) part 2

Life with Norma at her great big Hollywood mansion is a self-indulgent one. In a cloud of ever-present nostalgia, surrounded by an unreal amount of glamour pictures of Norma herself, days are spent in and around the house; at the swimming pool, going for rides in her luxurious handmade and leopard skin upholstered Italian car…

Creating a Monster (Sunset Boulevard) part 3

Norma sets up a grueling cosmetic and dietary regime for herself in order to get “closeup ready”. The house becomes filled with cosmetologists and specialists. The focus on embodying the young and beautiful Salome character she believe she will soon be playing only adds to the obsession. Meanwhile, Joe has taken an interest in a…