Reservoir dogs and the noir male : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Media Studies at Massey University

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Massey University
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This thesis presents a study of the noir male - the protagonist from the body of films known as film noir The purpose of the study is to show that a composite of the noir male character can be found constructed in Quentin Tarantino's 1992 directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs. This is achieved through a comparative study of film noir theory, especially as it relates to the noir male character, and Reservoir Dogs and it's characters. There are three parts. First is the establishment of the theoretical approach of neoformalism, predominantly as defined by Kristin Thompson in her 1988 text, Breaking the Glass Armor: Neoformalist Film Analysis. The second part is an examination of the theory of film noir, in order to draw a clear picture of what constitutes the characteristics of the noir male and his supporting environment. This includes the origins of film noir and the noir male; visual style; the urban setting; chronology of noir, common themes; the femme fatale; the noir protagonist himself; and neo noir It is a premise of the thesis that the nature of the noir male is encapsulated in, and reflected by, the common components of film noir films. This premise is supported in the discussion. The third part is a reading of Reservoir Dogs, with a focus on the characters and their interaction with the film, and each other. This includes discussion of the social influences which mark the environment of noir, the popular culture influence; the way Reservoir Dogs and noir challenge the spectator; discussion of the chronological structure of Reservoir Dogs, the relationship of transgression, which characterizes the noir male's interaction with the femme fatale role; the urban setting, and the theme and mood of film noir Drawing together these parts it is possible to conclude that the characters of Reservoir Dogs, supported by the environment and relationships created in the film, form a composite representation of the noir male.
Reservoir dogs (Motion picture) -- History and criticism, Film noir, Film criticism -- Philosophy