EVER fancied yourself as a hard-boiled detective or a femme fatale?
Now is your chance to lurk in the shadows as you solve mysteries because Warrington is getting a film noir makeover. As part of a special event to promote the borough’s libraries, classic American crime thrillers of the 1940s and 50s such as The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity and The Killers will be celebrated.
Callands photographer Paul Jackson will be taking his exhibition of photographs inspired by these highly stylised black and white films on tour to Warrington, Penketh, Culcheth, Stockton Heath and Padgate from April 29 to June 2.
They will be accompanied by special screenings of iconic film noir movies and the American crime fiction novels which inspired them. Paul, a former Sir Thomas Boteler CE Grammar School pupil, is appealing models, a hairdresser and make-up artists to collect 24 images for the exhibition called Paint It Black.
He said: “The St Rocco’s team have kindly offered us the use of all their clothes to use as wardrobe. They’ll be in the programme notes for the great work they do. It’s ideal for anyone who might need portfolio imagery for if they’re going into drama or modelling.”
Paul is working alongside Culture Warrington, LiveWire and Warrington Borough Council meaning all of the town’s buildings like the Parr Hall and Walton Hall are at his disposal for shots. The 53-year-old is a fan of film noir as both a photographer and a movie buff. His favourite is Touch of Evil.
Paul, of Unit 8 Photography, added: “It’s emulating the way they used to light the movies. It’s basically putting the light in a very dramatic position and not being afraid to cast deep, heavy shadows. I love the drama of it. It all came about because filmmakers were so limited by the legislation at the time.
“They couldn’t show any sexual content or blood. It all had to be implied. That really appeals to me because it makes you think about it as a viewer. As a photographer, I like to guess how they lit parts of movies. They used to use things like light filtering through Venetian blinds into dark rooms to make scenes really moody.
“They had great storylines. Raymond Chandler wrote some great novels and had great screenplays made from them. But I genuinely think they’ve passed the test of time because of the dramatic lighting.
“Everybody remembers Citizen Kane. It regular features in the top 10 movies ever made.
“And they continue to use elements of the genre today such as the Dutch angles with the camera sweeping away and the lightning techniques were used in Chinatown and Pulp Fiction.”
Paint it Black is designed to encourage people into Warrington’s libraries and highlight their importance as community hubs.
Paul said: “They’re so important. It’s not about me showing off or models looking pretty, it’s to highlight just how good the libraries are.”