Question Description

I’m studying and need help with a Film question to help me learn.

Answer these two discussion questions based on the lecture notes and reading links attached.

Question One:

Identify three characteristics of the femme fatale that the character Cora (played by Lana Turner)possesses. Explain how she fits these characteristics. Use analysis of specific scenes to explain each characteristic that you identified.

1. Sexual, Independent, & Manipulative

2. Destructive Violence (sometimes murder)

3. Defiant against traditional family & gender roles (Marriage= loveless, confining, sexless, dull)

4. Uses sex for pleasure & a weapon or tool to control men

5. Must be Destroyed & punished! Or converted to “good woman”

6. Power/presence extends beyond death

Question Two:

Find your own example of a femme fatale (in film, literature, history, etc) and explain how she fits/does not fit the characteristics of the femme fatale. Use specific examples in each of your explanations.


Answer these three Quiz questions based on the lecture notes and reading links attached.

1. Name and explain one thing you learned from The Rules of Film Noir documentary clip.

2. Name one of the femme fatales from the lecture notes and explain (in your own words) how she is an example of a femme fatale.

3. How did The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 and/or WWII influence the femme fatale in film noir?


these are the instruction for the discussion questions and the response ( You should respond to the writing in the attached picture )

Original Discussion Board Posts: You may use media or a link to information, such as website attachments, YouTube clips, etc., in your own discussion board. Also, you may post a link to a video or some other form of media (podcast, blog, etc.), in which you answer the questions/prompts verbally. The Original Discussion Board Post makes up 25/40 points.

Remember your discussion post should be representative of how you would speak in class. It should be academic, but does not need to be as highly refined as a formal essay or speech. Responses should be respectful of other peoples’ opinions and not disparaging in any way. It is especially important to keep in mind the classroom contract during these activities. To adequately address the discussion board questions, typical Original Discussion Board Posts are at minimum 500 words (approximately two pages).

Response Discussion Board Posts: You must post a response to one of your classmate’s discussion board posts. Your response provides you with the opportunity to engage critically with your classmate’s discussion board posts. The response post is makes up 15/40 points. To adequately respond to a classmate, typical Response Discussion Board Pose are at minimum 250 words (approximately one page). There are three steps required for each post.

  1. Add on to the argument, push back against the argument, state questions that the post raised for you academically, socially, politically, etc.
  2. Make connections among the previous readings, films, lecture notes, and other classmate’s posts.
  3. This is an extension of step two. Apply your classmate’s post and your response to a real-world text. The world text is defined broadly (film, news stories, websites, events, social movements, memes, images, and other types of cultural, social, and political discourse or data). You must link the text in your response. You must also provide context connecting the text to your response.

Femme Fatale ● ● ● Students will identify and analyze various characteristics of the femme fatale. Students will explain how the “The 1930 Motion Picture Production Code” and WWII affected the portrayal of the femme fatale in film. Students will analyze the representation and depiction of the femme fatale in silent films, film noir films, and modern films. The Femme Fatale ● ● ● ● ● ● Femme fatale translated means “fatal woman.” Sometimes referred to in film as the vamp, the black widow, or the deadly woman. The femme fatale is depicted as being immoral, manipulative, emasculating, and deadly. In the end, the femme fatale is either punished, destroyed, or transformed to adhere to what cultural deems as a moral woman. While this trope is common in literature and film, there are many women throughout history that have been labeled a femme fatale. The stories of these women have were created and told by men. The women were also vilified in them. Pandora ● ● ● ● In Greek mythology Pandora is referred to as the first woman. Pandora was given a jar that contained all of the evil and misery of the world (often called “Pandora’s Box”). She was instructed not to open the jar, but she gave into temptation, opened the jar, and released all of the evil and misery in the world. Pandora has been labeled throughout history as a femme fatale due to giving into temptation and releasing evil that plagues the world. Eve ● ● ● ● ● ● In the Judeo-Christian Bible, Eve (the first women) is portrayed as a femme fatale. She gave into temptation and ate fruit from a forbidden tree. When she eats the fruit, she then convinced Adam to eat the fruit as well. Adam blamed Eve for the temptation that caused him to eat the fruit, and God gave him the choice between the Garden of Eden and Eve. Adam chose Eve, and they were both banished from the Garden of Eden. Due to this, women have also been labeled the first sinners, and tradition says this is why women have painful periods and childbirth. Cleopatra ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Cleopatra was the first Ptolemaic pharaoh to learn Egyptian. However, her intelligence is often ignored, and she is only portrayed in history as a succubus with a great deal of sexual allure. Octavian, Julius Caesar’s nephew and successor, used Cleopatra’s relationship with Marc Antony to justify a civil war in Rome over power between him and Antony. Octavian created propaganda about Antony being controlled and manipulated by Cleopatra. This idea painted Cleopatra as an early example of the femme fatale. History says that she manipulate Antony, and her power over him ultimately lead to his death. In the end, Cleopatra died by suicide. This adds on to the narrative of the femme fatale being destroyed in the end. Cleopatra Lucrezia Borgia ● ● ● ● ● ● Lucrezia Borgia was a member of the House of Borgia, and the daughter of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei. She had several marriages in an attempt to advance her and her family’s political power. Rumors about Lucrezia spread that she was a murder and poisoned several people. It’s also speculated the Lucrezia’s brother murdered her second husband. Lucrezia died after giving birth. Lucrezia is often painted as a woman that seduced and married men. These relationship lead to the men’s political ruin or death. Anne Boleyn ● ● ● ● ● Anne Boleyn was the second wife to King Henry VIII. Anne’s marriage to King Henry VIII lead to England’s split from the Catholic Church. Anne could not bear a son, and this lead to a poor public perception of her. Anne was accused of adultery, treason, and incest. Anne was ultimately beheaded after not giving birth to a son and charges against her. Historic Femme Fatales to Femme Fatales in Film Theda Bara ● ● ● ● ● ● Theda Bara is thought to be films first femme fatale. She worked for Fox Films and they marketed her based on femme fatales of history and in literature. Her name is an anagram for “Arab Death.” The marketing team said she was the daughter of a French man and an Egyption concubine, and that she was born in the Sahara Desert. They coined the term “vamp” to describe her, due to her “supernatural powers” Theda was actually born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Theda Bara ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Theda sealed her representation as being a femme fatale by playing many famous femme fatales from history and literature. This included a portrayal of Cleopatra. Many of these films have been lost. One of the few films that is still available to view is A Fool There Was (1915). In this film Theda is cast as “The Vampire.” As a femme fatale in the film, she ruins men professionally and politically using her sexual allure and power. She makes men submissive to her power. However, unlike other Femme Fatales, Bara is not destroyed in the end, and she maintains her power over men. Theda Bara – The First Vamp Mae West ● ● ● ● ● Mae West starting acting in New York theatre productions when she was young. She learned how to perform from participating in these shows; West also frequented burlesque, vaudeville, and drag shows. She credits these for teaching her many of her mannerisms that would later make her a star. West was a supporter of gay rights throughout her life. She even wrote gay-oriented productions. West served 10 days in jail in 1927, because she refused to shut down her play Sex. Mae West ● ● ● ● ● Mae West made her film debut in Night After Night (1932). She played femme fatale characters through her film career. Many of her roles and films were full of sexual innuendos and content. Mae West is often labeled as the reason The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 was drafted. Once this Code was enacted, it marked the end for early Hollywood’s femme fatales. The Best of Mae West The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 ● ● ● This was a set of guidelines of censorship that was enacted from 1934 to 1968. The Code provides a set of guidelines and reasons for what can and cannot be shown in film. The three main guidelines are: ○ “No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.” ○ “Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.” “Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.” ○ ● Other provisions of the Code include crimes against the law, sex, vulgarity, obscenity, profanity, costumes, dances, and “national feelings.” The Code and Sex ● ● ● The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home shall be upheld. Pictures shall not infer that low forms of sex relationship are the accepted or common thing. Adultery, sometimes necessary plot material, must not be explicitly treated, or justified, or presented attractively. Scenes of Passion ○ ○ ○ They should not be introduced when not essential to the plot. Excessive and lustful kissing, lustful embraces, suggestive postures and gestures, are not to be shown. In general passion should so be treated that these scenes do not stimulate the lower and baser element. As quoted from the author of “Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood” (2000). Mick LaSalle states: The best era for women’s pictures was the pre-Code era…Before the Code, women on screen took lovers, had babies out of wedlock, got rid of cheating husbands, enjoyed their sexuality, held down professional professions without apologizing for their self-sufficiency, and in general acted the way many of us think women acted only after 1968…the Code…was designed to put the genie back in the bottle- and the wife back in the kitchen. (p. 1). Women in the 1940s ● ● ● ● ● ● During the 1940s, there was a shift in gender roles for women. While men were away at war, the industrial labor force needed workers. Without men to fill these roles, women were called in to work in factories and on assembly lines. Prior to this women were considered to weak and unreliable to work in these professions. However, out of necessity, these gender roles shifted and women were called in to work. The government presented images of strong women working doing “men’s work” while remaining “feminine.” This work empowered women and helped liberate them from traditional gender roles. Women at Work – WWII – 1943 The Men Return ● ● ● ● ● When men returned from war there was an attempt to shift gender roles back to the ideas pre-WWII. The government tried to push women back into their domestic lives. However, women felt liberated after working in the factories. The learned they could do “men’s work” just as well or even better. The government trying to push women back into their domestic lives created resentment on the side of these newly liberated women. The pushback of women not going back to their domestic lives created anxiety among men, due to the push back against the idea of “male superiority” over women. Push for Women to Reenter the Domestic Sphere Women in Film Noir ● ● ● ● ● ● The resentment and anxiety played out in genre of film called film noir. The breakdown of traditional gender roles were a major trope in this genre. The films created a new powerbalence between men and women. Women were often shown to be more powerful and intelligent. Men were shown to be manipulated and emasculated by women. As a result of the evolving gender roles the femme fatale trope reemerged in these films. The characters also pushed back against the ideas and guidelines in The Motion Picture Production Code. Femme Fatales and Masculinity in Film Noir ● ● ● ● ● ● The femme fatale was a figure of male fantasy. She possessed both men’s fascination for a sexually aggressive woman and their anxieties about feminine domination. She threatened masculinity, and often emasculated and humiliated men. She gained her power by feeding into men’s sexual fantasies. Men could only regain their masculinity and power by punishing or destroying her. If men converted her to a “good woman” and pushed her back into traditional gender roles, it would show the possibility of women returning to pre-WWII gender roles. The Femme Fatale ● ● ● ● ● The femme fatale wanted a life outside of the traditional family and gender roles. She was often in an unpromising job or an emotionally dissatisfying and sexless marriage. She would make a cognizant decision to liberate herself, and she used her seductive charms and her intelligence to entice men to help break out of these roles. She was sexually uninhibited, independent, and ambitious. She wanted forbidden pleasures and would turn to a life of crime to get them. She was duplicitous and never showed her true intentions to anyone, especially not the man she has involved in her life. The Demise of the Femme Fatale ● ● ● ● ● ● The femme fatale used her seductive powers to lead men into a world of crime. She manipulated them to get what she wanted, and ignored the effect it could have on his or anyone else’s future. Men fought for her and she was merciless at manipulating them for her own end. This would often lead to the man’s and her own demise. She would eventually come to realize that her ideas and desires were a delusion. This would lead her to the realization of the likelihood of her own demise. However, the femme fatales power and presence extended beyond her own death. Femme Fatale at A Glance ● ● ● ● ● ● The femme fatale is sexual, independent, and manipulative. She causes men to turn to crime and destructive violence. This sometimes includes murder. The femme fatale is defiant against traditional family and gender roles. Her marriage is often loveless, confining, sexless, dull or her job is unfulfilling. She used sex as a weapon or tool to control men and for her pleasure. It the end she must be destroyed of converted to a “good woman.” Her power and presence extends beyond her death. Rita Hayworth ● ● ● ● After appearing in the film Only Angels Have Wings (1939), Rita Hayworth was dubbed “The Love Goddess” by Life Magazine. She became one of the top pin-up girls during WWII. Rita Hayworth starred in Gilda (1946). This role made her one of the first, and perhaps best known, femme fatales in all of film noir. In the film she performed a “one glove strip tease,” which showed her sexuality and power over men, and has been recreated multiple times in cinema and in burlesque shows. Put the Blame on Mame – Gilda (1946) Rita Hayworth ● ● ● ● ● Gilda (1946) put a stamp on Rita Hayworth’s profession and personal life. Hayworth was quoted as saying “Men fell in love with Gilda, but they wake up with me.” Professionally, Rita Hayworth would continue to be cast in femme fatale roles. After Gilda, Hayworth played another femme fatale in her then husband, Orson Welles’, 1947 film The Lady From Shanghai. In 1948, Rita Hayworth was cast as the femme fatale Carmen in The Loves of Carmen (1948). …

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