Femme Fatales, Hard Boiled Detectives & the Shadows: Film Noir in Bollywood Cinema

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by Natasha Ali on Thursday, January 16, 2014

Arts, Media & Entertainment

Session type

Technical level


That we all love our movies is no secret. But in a time when its become more about masala, action and mindless entertainment, it might be nice to stop and look at movies that actually belong to a classic genre of film, and utilized the devices and norms of that genre (in this case, Film Noir). The idea of this session would be to share insight into what Film Noir is, look at the classic context, discuss how Bollywood made it its own, and have the audience think of movies they've seen that would come under the genre.


Enjoying its hey-day in the 1940s and 1950s, when one hears the term Film Noir, we either look puzled or we think of black and white Hollywood classics with Humphrey Bogart or Lana Turner. But at the same time, Indian cinema also created some classically noir movies. I am not talking arthouse stuff, but mainstream Bollywood movies that incorporated themes from classic Film Noir, and made it work, with song, dance, romance and every other staple of the Bollywood movie. In particular, I will focus on Dev Anand's CID as a fine example of the Indianized film noir. To illustrate the genre, I will also discuss some classic American film noir.


Just an interest in film is enough. If you love old black and white movies, all the better!

Speaker bio

Natasha is a 30-something communications "type". After living in the US for a number of years, she returned to India a couple of years ago. Since then, she has become an avid food/restaurant blogger and traveler. Seeing that she loves to read and write and seems able to write about almost anything, she works as a content writer. Always movie mad, she studied film theory and watched tons of film and television shows in the name of research. Being able to share some of those insights would be fun for her and for the attendees, she hopes!