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If we follow that theory it seems logical that all the roles that are usually played by men can be played by women and, what I am more interested in in that case, that every role played by women can be played by men. To find out whether this idea is true or not I am going to investigate three filmic representations of the film noir. For this purpose I chose films where the role of the investigator is played by a female for a simple reason. I assume that since the protagonist (the detective, private eye, etc…) is the key figure in the film, and that due to the patriarchal structure of the cinema (sad but true) this role is usually played by a male, that if we change the gender of this key character, it is more feasible that we can notice the change of the gender in other, usually gender-linked roles. To make sure that the sources I chose are in the subset of film noir I picked two films from the list of Philippa Gates from her essay The Maritorious Melodrama: Film Noir with a Female Detective. Since she studied the character of the female detectives in film noir (as you can see it from the title) it was obvious for me that the films she lists there both imply a female as the detective in the movie and the characteristics of the film noir. According to her research, Woman on the Run and Phantom Lady are listed under the title film noir by several critics and the Internet Movie Database (Gates 2009, 26). As for my third source, Brown Betty, the biggest proof for its ‘film noireness’ is its mise en scène – just like in the case of most of the films listed as film noirs. Even though most of the characteristics of film noir are still under arguments, critics are sure that its visual appearance is recognizable (Cowie 1993, 126). Low key lighting, chiaroscuro effects, and the specific camera angles and close-ups can be found in this episode of Fringe; along with the costumes, cars, make-ups and dialogues that were typical in the era when the film noir as category emerged.
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Titles like , , , and describe what you'll find in film noir. And titles like , , and convey the terrain. But maybe it's titles such as and that most simply convey the film noir essence--an overpowering force that can't be avoided.
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