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Media Studies

Film Noir

Sian Ruffell

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1946. The Postman Always Rings Twice, the title in this film suggests a fatal conclusion for the two main characters. After Frank and Cora successfully get away with the murder of Cora's husband, Cora is killed in a car accident and Frank is sentenced to death for driving the car and supposedly intentionally killing Cora. Although Frank is sentenced to death for a crime that he is innocent for he killed Nick - therefore the title of this film connotes in meaning that although Cora and Nick got away with the murder of Nick both ended up getting what they deserved as 'the postman always rings twice'. The ideology of this film can be based around moral ambiguity and how a woman can take over the power of a man. This clip makes the viewer think that there is a fight for power between the two genders. How a woman can 'put a man under her spell'. Frank innocently stopped off at the Diner after seeing a 'man wanted' sign, although the film does show power within the women it also suggests a patriarchal society towards men. The sign says 'man wanted' in 21st century life women could take offence to this as now women are classed as equal. In this extract Cora drops her lipstick and Frank picks it up, she holds her hand out expecting him to walk over and give it back but instead he makes her walk over to him, Frank is still holding onto his power. However when Cora appears in the clip her body composition shines confidence even though she is wearing very little. The colour of her outfit is white which can connote innocence but her outfit also shows a lot of skin which contrasts with the pure colour. At the end of the clip the hamburger Frank said he would 'look after' is burnt on the grill, Cora therefore was a distraction she made Frank forget about is 'job' as he was too busy admiring her. The hamburger burning is a warning sign. The speed of each shot varies. The speed of most shots are slow, they are quite long. However when the characters Frank and Cora meet they edit speed is faster as the camera flicks between the two characters, this suggests that both characters are fighting for their power. Simple cuts are used throughout the extract. The camera time of both characters appear to be equal when both are seen together in the clip. However when Cora and Frank are both in shot the camera is over the shoulder of Frank giving a long shot of Cora's body. This could show power towards Cora as her face and body are filmed for longer when both characters are together during the clip. But by Frank being in the shot as well could symbol the powerlessness of a woman, she needs Frank there as he has more power. When the lipstick is dropped on the floor the camera follows up to Cora's body. The long shots of Cora connotes how a woman can use her body as a symbol of power to make a man powerless. This clip clearly show Cora

Media Studies

Film Noir

Sian Ruffell

doing this. A close up of Franks face shows him looking at Cora 'in oar', Cora also has a close up - both of them having close up makes both the genders look more equal. There is an over narration which is in a males voice. This may be simply because it is Franks thoughts he doesn't say aloud but the male voice could suggest that men have more power as it is a male voice over not a females. Frank does have more dialog than Cora in this extract, when Cora does speak she sounds very confident. "You dropped this," "Mhmm, thanks." (Cora puts her hand out waiting to receive lipstick from Frank). The way Cora is so confident and how she says very little yet still has an effect on Frank shows the viewer that she does have a lot of power over him. When the lipstick appears on the scene non diegetic sound is added, the music is harmonious and calm. There is also a sound bridge, during a close up of Frank's face you can hear the lipstick rolling on the floor towards him before you see the lipstick.