Film noir is not easily defined. The actual words come from French and mean "black cinema." It was in France during the post-war years that the term was used to describe a certain set of Hollywood films that were saturated with a darkness and cynicism that was not seen before. These movies included The Maltese Falcon (1941), Double Indemnity (1944), Laura (1944), and Murder, My Sweet (1944).
Long before Lassie became a famous film star there was another collie who was courted by movie directors. This remarkable "dog with a human brain" had his day in a Fredericksburg court room and escaped the death penalty.
Absurd, baroque, neorealism, surreal, and bizarre are all used to describe Federico Fellini’s film style, but none of them quite capture the true essence of his films. His famous and unique style of storytelling, which was largely autobiographical, blended reality and fantasy and was so distinct that it became known as Felliniesque.