vintage-noir

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CultureSOUL *50s*: African Americans in Color c. 1950s

Photo credits:

  1. Southern California c. 1950s
  2. Southern California c. 1950s
  3. Untitled, Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956. Gordon Parks
  4. Southern California, 1956
  5. Airline Terminal, Atlanta, Georgia, 1956. Gordon Parks
  6. Bathing Beauties contest c. 1950s
  7. Coney Island, NY, 1957
  8. Location unknown c. 1950s
  9. Wedding, Southern California, 1956
  10. Rare color image from the “A Great Day In Harlem” iconic Jazz photo shoot. This close up features Marian McPartland, Mary Lou Williams and Thelonious Monk.

For more images of African Americans in color, see this Gordon Parks photo essay on the Civil Rights era recently published in HuffPost.

#50sMonth

10

Film noir is not a genre… It is not defined, as are the western and gangster genres, by conventions of setting and conflict, but rather by the more subtle qualities of tone and mood. It is a film "noir,” as opposed to the possible variants of film gray and off white.“ - Paul Schrader, Notes on Film Noir, Film Comment, 1972

Film Noir is a historical, stylistic and thematic trend that took place primarily, but not exclusively, within the generic complex of the American crime film of the forties and fifties. The term was first introduced by French cinéaste Nino Frank in 1946. For many years it was known only to the French, who seemed to be the only ones equipped (critically or otherwise) to grapple with its definition and/or historical implications.“ - Spencer Selby (Dark City: The Film Noir; 1984)

Film Noir is the flip side of the all-American success story. It’s about people who realize that following the program will never get them what they crave. So they cross the line, commit a crime and reap the consequences. Or, they’re tales about seemingly innocent people tortured by paranoia and ass-kicked by Fate. Either way, they depict a world that’s merciless and unforgiving.“ - Eddie Muller

Humphrey Bogart, 1941, a publicity photo for The Maltese Falcon

“I’m not good-looking. I used to be but not any more. Not like Robert Taylor. What I have got is I have character in my face. It’s taken an awful lot of late nights and drinking to put it there. When I go to work in a picture, I say, ‘Don’t take the lines out of my face. Leave them there.’ “