Urban Noir Magazine, Issue 1 - Pgs. 1 & 2
Page spread from Urban Noir magazine (Issue 1 - September 2011) featuring model Molly Noelle Graham (MM#2218021). Hairstyles, makeup, and talent management by Lara Graham. Photography, graphic design, and writing by Will Stotler (MM#1338163). This was an experiment in developing a coherent, modern magazine design from scratch.
Text from this spread follows
Film noir is often associated by American audiences with a particular look from American cinema in the 1940s. But, the look of noir has its roots in 1920s German Expressionism and selected work from 1920s German Cinema. German films from the 1920s with a strong Expressionist influence include The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu, later, Metropolis and M. These films expressed their interiority through monumentalism and modernism on dreamlike, nightmarish sets. The films’ highly stylized looks—partially a result of the sets themselves but also largely due to deep lighting and disorienting framing—successfully externalized emotional intensity and nightmarish angst, lending deep exterior melodrama to their largely interior narratives. The cumulative effect is that the look of the sets is as much a character as the characters themselves. American filmmakers of 1940s film noir explicitly understood how this look enhanced narrative—a successful execution of noir’s look and feel is in the manifestation of an interior, psychological space that affects the external, visible world. How the film looks reflects a visual representation of how the director and cinematographer wanted to express the characters’ interior mindscapes. In less self-reflective work, the interplay of sets, light, and actors provided a dark, brooding mood against which the drama could play out. Urban Noir is what I want to get from street shooting. As I imagine it
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Caption: Model Molly Noelle Graham framed in reflected light on a granite textured background, solid and foregrounded, yet casting a distorted shadow, representative of an interior space.