L.A. Noir ‘Gemini’ Lives in Shades of Neon Blue

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Anthony Peyton

From the successful new production company NEON (I,Tonya, Ingrid Goes West) comes the modern noir, Gemini, where beautiful women, L.A. nightlife, and murder is observed through blue-tinted glasses.

Troubled by the murder of her best friend and reckless starlet (Zoë Kravitz), a young woman (Lola Kirke) finds herself on the search for the killer while trying to prove her own innocence. So far, it seems like a vintage murder mystery. Once you’ve ever heard the soundtrack it sounds like one, too.

But what makes this so unique are the contemporary spins on a genre that has long been forgotten. Instead of the deep shadows in a black and white film, you see a contrast of blues under a neon light. And instead of the light and mysterious sounds of the sax, you get the calming electronic version. To add onto how modern this is, it’s set in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles.

Taking an old genre like film noir and turning it into something modern is a challenge that only risk-takers would subject themselves to and could be comparable to making a Shakespearean play seem relatable to everyday audiences. This seems to be mastered by the director, Aaron Katz, who effortlessly shows how easy it is to do so. By skillfully using cinematography and production design, any filmmaker can achieve the seemingly impossible.

Throughout the film, the most striking aspect that you notice is how blue it is. In every single scene, there is a bluish tint or something in the frame that is blue. It makes you wonder the meaning of it. Maybe it’s symbolic of something much deeper (i.e. American Beauty’s use of red) but my conclusion is that it makes the film overall stylish.

What made the film noir genre so intriguing is how elegant and fashionable it looked with the high contrasts of black and white. In order for Gemini to modernize this, they made it vibrant in a specific color – blue. Whether it is a neon sign or the wall of a late-night diner, if it’s blue then it stands out. This cooler tone is there to contrast with the warmer toned colors, such as pink, rather than have them bleed together. It takes the “not everything is black and white” idea to a colorful approach which Katz uses to paint L.A. as an alluring town filled with dangerous secrets hidden in plain sight.

Gemini proves it’s strength in this reemerging genre by combining the old with the new while reviving an audience’s interest in a long-lost friend of the film industry.

My Rating: 78%

Acting: 2.5/4

Cinematography: 4/4

Story: 3/4

Enjoyability: 3/4


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