Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Out of the Past": Portrayal of Women

Being quite unfamiliar with Film Noir, it makes it somewhat difficult to give an accurate reading on the film “Out of the Past”. What did catch my interest though was the portrayal of women. We have the traditional view of women shown in Anne, staying by her man Jeff even when he is accused of murdering two men and having an affair with another woman. In complete contrast to the image of the woman being submissive to the man, we have the “bad ass” displayed in Kathie. She kills with no remorse (you could even see there was no expression on her face after a gun shot), she lies, is disloyal, she is everything you can see of a man in a gangster mob flick. To me, there is much of a gender role flip from the traditional. Perhaps this is a reason why Film Noir was so influential. It seems interesting that Kathie, the bad ass, ends up dead in the end. Her acts ultimately led to her demise? Then there is Anne who finally gets closure after Jeff’s funeral, asking the “deaf and dumb” boy if Jeff was running away with Kathie when he was killed. The response of a nod finally gave her closure, allowing her to run away. The good girl wins in the end getting escape (even though the “yes” response was a lie). Perhaps it is not always bad to be the good girl? But then again, the femme fatale is the one who leaves the biggest impression.

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