ORPHAN BLACK: Orphan Black’s homage to both the traditional and contemporary facets of the film noir genre doesn’t stop at the presence of train station junctions and cynical anti-heroines in hats. In addition to trends in story, character, and setting, the series presents a wealth of stylistic cinematic clues that impart an important visual identification with the genre. You simply can’t have film noir without labyrinthine urban settings, chiaroscuro lighting, or the occasional Dutch angle, and Orphan Black has plenty to spare.
Film noir literally means “black film,” and any film that falls under this umbrella must be partially defined by exactly this feature: light and darkness playing cat and mouse to create shadows both literal and figurative. And Orphan Black is, indeed, a kind of black film. The mysterious Mrs. S explains the series’ title thusly: “children in the black.” And so they are. Children hiding in the shadows, who endeavor to remain untouched by the oppressive world around them. But, as in most noir stories, the shadows are rarely safe.
The night is dark…and full of terrors.
Inspired by the distorted, grim aesthetic of German expressionist styles, film noir can be immediately identified by its dramatic use of light and shadow to communicate aspects of personality, and to create a distinct portrait of a world that is full of deceptions and insecurities. To properly pay homage to a genre where intensity/style of light and shadow reflect the sinister qualities of the narrative and generate a psychological feeling of suspense in the viewer, Orphan Black's lighting is key.
As in Welles’ chiaroscuro rife Citizen Kane, sweeping shafts of
soft, angled light create an eerie mood of foreboding and suspense.
In Orphan Black's take on light, darkness is not absolute, nor should it be. In a series where protagonists and antagonists alike exist in limbos of half illuminated truths, the lighting must always reflect these partially visible deceptions and slow, creeping personal revelations.
Skimmed this. Interesting stuff