Posts Tagged ‘In the Valley of Elah’

In the Valley of Elah and Crossfire

March 28, 2009



Crossfire is a film noir as it uses light and shadows to create mood and atmosphere. elah isn’t film noir it is more real in style.

Nial Spence.

I agree with Nial. I feel as though, if you class film noir as a genre, then Elah has taken it as a very big influence. Both films do stem from the hard-boiled crime novels and pulp fiction that was around in the 20’s and 30’s, however both of them use it in very different ways. Crossfire clearly takes influences from Chandler in the utilisation of the detective playing on the rough, dirty side of the law, whereas Elah is, in a sense, a lot cleaner. Hank doesn’t appear to be harrowed by years of service, but is proud of it. Finlay, in Crossfire, is the complete opposite. His world-weary view is something that could have been used to convey a very strong message about the state of America, however due to the Production Code this was not possible. Elah had a lot more freedom in this sense, and had the ability to give a much more pessimistic viewpoint.

James Brown.

We also see that in Crossfire that the villain  “Monty” is shown to be a psychopath from the start of the film and that he has not been influenced or changed in anyway to be how he is. As due to the production code films from the 1940 had to abind to this code. this meant that they couldn’t say anything bad about the armed forces. As crossfire was made in 1947 then it had to a bind to these rules.

Whereas in Elah it didn’t have to a bind to these rules so we see that the villains (mikes fellow soldiers) are shown to have changed into psychopaths by there experiences in the war in Iraq. they are shown to be desensified by there experiences. So this is showing to the audience that the war isn’t good and it is affects the soldiers.  we also see that hank has been changed by his experiences in the army as he is very straight and we see him make his bed and sort his shoes as if still in the army.

This brings up the comparison of what to do with returning veterans in the two films?

As we see in Crossfire that Mitch has been changed my the war as he is a wreak and just what to see his wife. As in the 1940’s there were hundreds of veterans coming back from the war and the army didn’t know what to do with them and the soldiers didn’t know what to do with them selves as they weren’t used to being back after being at war. we see this in the character Mitch.

Niall Spence

Yeah i agree with both of you, Naill was right talking about film noir in crossfire. The lighting and shadows are great in this movie, they create an amazing effect and mood throughout the movie. The lighting also creates suspence within the movie. Elah on the other hand is clearly not film noir but there is a great use of dark colours, such as blue and black etc. What Niall says is spot on about the comparison between the two about the returning veterans coming back from both wars and the soldiers not knowing what to do with theirself, this is shown in Elah by Mitch being Killed by one of his own fellow soldiers. It seems that killing has become so much a part of their daily life that they dont think twice about the consequences to the family of  Mitch.

Matty Frost

I agree with all of these posts, but I would say that the production code in the 1940’s would have allowed the character of Monty to have been changed into a murderer by outside circumstances, just not by the US army

Sean 🙂

I feel that Elah goes;  Where’s Mike, what happened to Mike, who killed Mike,and why they (his friends) did it to Mike. And Crossfire goes; Who’s done it and why they’ve done it. So you can tell that ‘Elah’ is a more complicated film in terms of the plot, so it will have more twists and turns.

Joel Cavney