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What is Film Noir?

Film Noir is a cycle in film history that became one of the most influential movements in the movie making world. You will find many of the Film Noir characteristics in Theo's paintings, such as Chiaroscuro lighting, acute perspective and figurative detail.

Theo's oil painting from 2010 'Blowing In The Wind'  Notice the characteristic wet street, lone figure,
blowing newspapers and the dark evening cityscape illuminated by the shop windows.

The name was coined by the French who had been deprived of American movies during the Nazi occupation of World War 2, and noticed a darkening of mood and subject matter once American movies had become available again. The astute critics of French cinema wrote about Film Noir movies as early as 1946, whereas the Americans themselves did not appreciate and recognize this movement until the late 60's.
Relating this to art, it was probably the German Expressionism, with its Chiaroscuro lighting, distorted camera angles and symbolic designs, which was the most important influence on the look of Film Noir.
In contrast to this, the typical Noir movie was often regarded as a low budget flick, categorized as a B movie with second billing to generate a quick buck.

With such humble beginnings, who would have thought that nowadays students would study methods and features of this exciting film genre all over the world. You could call Theo's painting style Art Noir or Cinematographic, we would love to hear what you think, give us your ideas here. 



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  • christine on

    I find Theos artwork so evocative of a gentler bygone era.
    Just looking at the details of the fine paintings makes you wish to go back in time to a much simpler and gentrified past.


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