Friday, October 2, 2015

en Noir et Blanc and a French giveaway...

This post is about mystery, suspense and film noir while capturing en noir photos in our home. There is a French giveaway too, no hoops to jump through just leave a comment to have the opportunity to win. Film noir is a term coined by the French, literally meaning "Black film" predominantly Hollywoods crime films from the 40's and 50's. Film noir crime and thriller films that use dark shadows and lighting with oftentimes foreboding background music. To set the mood, anxiety is expressed mingled with confusion and distrust. My favorite en Noir film is "Casablanca" from 1946 starring Bogart and Bergman. Followed by my second favorite "Key Largo" in 1948 with Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Bogart's spouse Lauren Bacall. I simply fell in love with film noir.

It wasn't until my early 20's I discovered film noir and first watched "Key Largo and "Casablanca" I was captivated by the lighting accents to the dark and dramatic. I believe it set a mood deep within me that I've chased after all my adult years and reflects in all my choices in décor.

Last month during my Birthday fête, antiquing followed by a French meal in Lambertville, NJ. I took this photo. As I watched John place a purchase into the back seat of our 1972 French Citroën DS Pallas in my minds eye I saw it en noir and became the inspiration for this post and a very new creative adventure and new interest.

I usually post my poetic expression at the end but here it is as we continue on exploring en noir.

Murder, espionage, mystery and intrigue, these have always been the genre of films that captivate me.
A thriller so suspenseful it grips you with anxiety as you watch through fingers held over your eyes afraid of what you may see.

A brilliantly written psychological thriller that puts you at the edge of your seat, a plot so scary you truly think you will pee.
A "private eye" or law enforcement investigator gathering the clues as you watch intensely attempting to foresee.

As the plot thickens your heightened awareness is causing your pulse to race as you fixate on discovering the pivotal key...
It's through the anticipation of climatic suspense that the rush of adrenaline surges through your mind and sets you free to experience glee.

So pop some Popcorn, dim the lights and enjoy en noir delights of film and in its mystery hopefully you will appreciate and agree
Films en noir et blanc or just about anything from the 40's and 50's are unique and in today's standards ever so artsy.
© Vera

The giveaway includes: "The Red Balloon" a French fantasy short film from 1956 which won an Oscar for short film, only 34 minutes long. The filmmaker Albert Lamorissa filmed it in the Ménilmontant neighborhood (20th district/arrondissement) of Paris. Also a CD - Les Grand Charisons Francaises. French songs, 18 hits and is 59 minutes long. It's a historic award winning collection. To add a taste enjoyment I've added a box of my favorite French butter cookies. Pierre Biscuiterie butter cookies in sea salt caramel. I will wrap the 3 gifts in a French inspired paper wrap with Parisian ribbon which is my signature gift wrap. The giveaway is open world wide, so who ever wins - enjoy.

Film noir is Hollywoods own true artistic movement. So here goes my photo essay of my experimenting en noir. I tried and key word is attempted to capture en noir throughout our row-home. 

Setting a mood in the dark and dramatic shadows of light.

While researching for this post I found something to add to my bucket list. Every January since 2003 in San Francisco a film noir festival and extravaganza is attended by people from all over the world for 10 glorious days to participate in a festival of films and star appearances which also includes guest speakers.

Recently I purchased this software program by idimager. 

I want to be able to use it effectively to produce my Holiday presentation this Winter. I will join in again this year with other blogger friends and we will each present a performance in our theatre's as our little Christmas time folly and entertainment for you.

I'm currently trying to produce an enchanting production staged in two counties in two different theatre's this year. Yes, of course it's all make believe! A play that takes place in France and Romania. I truly hope I've interested you and here's a little un-staged peek at one of the plays. Of course en noir and hopefully suspenseful with an imaginative story line.

Although en noir is an art form not easily defined I prefer to define it as a mood and an emotional feeling. We live a vertical lifestyle on 3 floors in our row-home and stairs to me often take on their own unique personalities. Photo is ascending upstairs in converted noir.

Walking downstairs from the kitchen into the laundry room. 

Dramatic and moody oftentimes intense helps to define en noir.

My en noir photo of a mouse, on our mantel in the sitting/reading room.  The two larger pumpkins were created by me in silk velvet.

An en noir capture of a display of a signed print "Wicked" by the very talented artist Penny White from the blog Angelsdoor. In a future post I will show this in its actual unaltered light and placement.

When I started to blog it was my son Chris who most inspired me to share from my heart... To share my talents, beliefs and my poetry in every post. I try to honor him and his request. I try to post in creativity and not of a religious nature or in a political view just posts that are thought provoking.

Posting this photo gave me much hesitation. Saturday September 26th on the last leg of a historic visit in the US the Pope was in Philadelphia. The city I love and choose to call home. John and I headed north to avoid gridlock and traffic congestion. We met up with a few French vintage car friends at a friends home and enjoyed a small get together with food and drink and then went to a vintage car show. During the walk around chatting and looking at interesting cars my friend Carmo started to look upwards into the clouds and started to snap some photos... I paused a few moments and when I looked up I saw a very powerful message in the sky, this is the photo I captured.

Since this is an en nor post I did not alter the photo I took and just simply put it en noir. I will email the original photo to anyone who requests it. I ask for comments as to what you see, powerful sky, no doubt, but I saw a very powerful message and the reason for me to share this. Look past the wire utility poles, look in the center and to the right ... Tell me what you see, I am a humbled Catholic and will say message received.

See you soon with my Halloween post and poetry. Please leave a comment to enter the giveaway and as always I love to hear your thoughts and enjoy reading your comments.

source of print


  1. Ohhhhhh Vera how powerful this post is in so many ways. It is truly amazing how the lighting and mood can be so empowering to the mind's eye and invoke strong emotions from within. The picture ohhhhhh I am Catholic too and received the message very clearly. You can see it clearly the face looking over the city. Truly inspiring and powerful. Terry has a picture from a fire in a house that clearly when you look through the flames of the burning building you see the face of evil. Very powerful too. Thank you for sharing this picture with all of us. Thought provoking indeed.

  2. Beauty in your noir and when you emailed me days ago with this photo I saw a strong strength in it and oh so spiritually beautiful.
    The face to me appear wrapped in cloud cloth with the whites of eyes so clearly peaking through the darkness. Very powerful Vera, and a message to many in what it's small whisper is speaking to each personally.

    This was a dark wonderful short film in still photography that needs an award !!
    It's a wonderful view of your home in Noir, and sometimes the mood of Black and White makes us see more depth and beauty in how one lives.

    Love your GiveAway theme, as wonderful as it is I will bow out gracefully as to being counted in, giving someone new the treasured feeling of being gifted such beauty from you. I am looking forward to a Christmas production, as Mea had presented and early showing in Noir, and your plans of Noir, you have both inspired a bit of Noir to go along with my art in paper that always appears in Black and white.

    Such a mind of thought in the pretty little head of yours, this post was amazing and thought inspiring.

    See you soon beautiful,



  3. Ps... I forgot to mention growing up was part of old film in our home with a grandfather who was an Oscar winning art producer for Paramount Movie Picture Studios Hollywood Ca. And black and whites were beloved, along with foreign French films I am addicted to.
    They just don't make movies quite like the oldies do they? Love the innocent love stories that played out.

    See you soon dear


  4. Well, first off- you mentioned two of my most favorite films ever- Key Largo and Casablanca. They have stuck with me since the first time I saw them and each subsequent viewing only makes them burn brighter for me.

    ALL your photos are amazing but that last one is spectacular. I, too, see a cross and image of God as I understand Him. What an amazing capture. Love your poem---as I always do.

    Can't wait to see what you do for Halloween. xo Diana

    ps- Don't sign me up for the giveaway- I was lucky enough to win the Poe giveaway last year and STILL love it!

  5. I had to return Vera, I had to study that sky in depth, the more and more I read between the clouds here I wonder if just a special visit was made to you, and a message above is touching your heart.

    Yes, you know exactly that message I am sure of that.


  6. Hello dearest Vera! Well, after a tiring week of work, an film noir picture would be a great sight for my tired eyes tonight. I love this era of film myself, and of course, any French movie from any era! What a GREAT GIVEAWAY! Since I'm no longer posting and I own the Red Balloon, I will decline, but your photos in noir et blanc are stunning. I hope you are well? I am loving this season and the change. My happy place is here with all of you and the creativity we all seek to share. Much love, Anita

  7. Hi Vera, well I just love a film noir movie and these two are among my favorites.
    Your photos taken around your row home are amazing and the very last is incredible. I see such a special message in the sky too. One of movement all around but the sense of peace and calm through it all. All is okay and good, a message from above. God is watching over and do not be afraid.

    Your giveaway is so generous and very special. Someone will be very blessed.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend my friend.
    Love to you, cm

  8. Vera your post is so inspiring, and as I search for my inner spirit - where ever it went - these next few weeks, I have found that your post has really touched me as many of yours do. You are indeed a Sensitive sister and though I am not a Catholic faith - I am a very strong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or as we are sometimes called the Mormons - my beliefs are that we are all children of God. W how your photo blew me way, I have one that is along the similar lines, it is an apparition of sorts that confirms my belief that Angels are among us. I would love to share that with you. I'll have to dig it out first. lol Iy's a black and white as well.
    What a fun giveaway. You always find something so lovely and interesting to blog about. That's why I enjoy your posts, and comments. So glad that I found you sweet friend. Luvs, Jo

  9. Vera, your photographs are stunning in black and white. It looks like there was a special message in the last photo. I also really love the three blind mice, because they are humorous, and because they look like they are singing in a nightclub. In regards to film, movies from the 40s, 50s, and 60s are the best. Roman Holiday and Sabrina are favorites are mine. When I went to Rome last year, I had to go find the places in Roman Holiday. Great give away. I love the Red Balloon. xoxo Su

  10. I always learn something from your posts...never really knew what Film Noir meant. I do love both of these movies and many more...not sure if they fall under Film Noir.

    The photo is extraordinary...I see many things in the sky on cloudy days but you managed to capture an incredible photo with so much to read into. I see the sky and think of my belief in heaven. I actually think I see two faces and then an image of wind and that's very symbolic to me and perhaps others.

    You've written a beautiful post, Vera. Thank you!

    Please don't count my comment in the giveaway---I already won that gorgeous velvet pillow from you. Let someone else have that chance. :)

    Love to you,

    Jane xx

  11. What a creative post, Vera. Very artistic. Love the films you mentioned...for so many reasons. The peek into your Christmas plays was a real treat. LOVE your poem today. This is just an all around inspiring post!
    Love to you.

  12. Vera, your photos are stunning. In the sky pic I see a black horse, and a white horse. Strange how we all interpret things differently. Blessings

    1. Thank you Lesley for visiting me from across the pond. I see you are a non reply so I could not send you a personal email. Thanks for your comment and aren't clouds simply delightful? We each see in them what we emotionally feel and interpret. Thanks for your comment.

  13. Hi Vera! Wow, I love these photos. Especially the mystery that the stairs suggest. They all make me feel something and I tended to want to create a story around each one, so I really loved this post. Please send me the original photo of the powerful sky so that I can study it and discuss!
    Wonderful giveaway and I am so excited about your holiday presentation this year! xoxo, T.

  14. I've stared at the last photo for a long time and I still see Jesus Christ....HE is as plain to me as it can be.
    Wonderful black and whites...great post...wonderful giveaway but pls don't enter me as you just sent me that marvelous RUB for our steaks....
    hugs and kisses

  15. Enjoyed your blog and the black and whites, especially the one in Lambertville - Casablanca is a favorite of mine as well. Keep creating, Vera. Love, Audrey

  16. Vera your photos en noir are beautiful. I love that look in pictures. Black and white photos never go out of style. Although film noir isn't my favorite style in movies, I do happen to be a huge fan of black and white films in general and I think that many of the best movies were made during that era not only in Hollywood but also in other countries. I love old Mexican and Egyptian films for example. They too had huge motion picture industries during the 40s and 50s and interestingly they produced their share of classic film noir as well. What an interesting swirl of clouds in that last picture. I do see the face in the middle of the photo but I also see an angel with outstretched wings floating in the sky, just to the right of the face.

  17. The Red Balloon was one of my favorite shorts growing up! Your photographs are beautiful. Searching the skies and clouds is one of my favorite pastimes. The Lord speaks many words when we are still and just listen, even with our eyes! Thank you for sharing a photos that spoke to you personally, I'm sure it will to each one who views it as well! Many blessings, Cindy

  18. An intriguing post, Vera. Of all the en noir photos of your home -- and they're all amazing -- the one that brought the most emotional response from me was the photo of your stairs. Oh, that's just so perfectly mysterious! Something I'd see in Gaslight (which happens to be my favorite Film Noir of all time). I can just see Ingrid Bergman slowly, slowly, ascending the stairs, left hand gripping the rail, right hand in a fist, pressed to her lips, eyes moist with tears. Oh yes! I'm right there! It's so funny that you mention The Red Balloon, for I was just thinking about it this past week. I first saw that fascinating film as a young girl and didn't even know if it was still available for viewing. So, so interesting that I now see it mentioned in your post. Kind of a Film Noir moment for me. LOL! Hugs, dear one. ~ Nancy,

  19. Beautiful photos!
    Glad I stopped by...


  20. Vera, I enjoyed your post, as it has all the Hollywood mystery and glamour of the old movies. Can you believe I've never seen the whole show of Casablanca. Now, I must see it. And this is a great giveaway! Those French butter cookies sound scrumptious. Oh, there's Penny's drawing......she is so talented, and I remember that one well. That is an interesting picture of the sky. I always see images in the clouds, so I saw things right away. I am Catholic also, and lately they have been talking about the holy spirit at church.

    What a splendid post, Vera, and these black and white photos are wonderful. In Photography, there is nothing more beautiful to me than a black and white photo.


    ps I also wanted to tell you that we both picked number 4 on Diana's Fall porches. I love stone and orange pumpkins, so I picked that one. I noticed that you did too. : )

  21. You are so talented in so many ways ~ this photography is beautiful and always the written word. I absolutely love the old classic movies! Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were 2 of my all time favorites. I think the event in San Francisco is a must on anyone's bucket list! :) I love to see images in the clouds...quite amazing at times.

    Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the giveaway! You've chosen some beautiful treasures to share.

    I hope you have a wonderful week ahead! The cooler temps here are just incredible ~ my favorite time of year.


  22. Dear Vera,
    I must apologize for being so very late.. The computer has put a bit of a strain on my eyes lately, so I have stayed off.

    I absolutely love this post... This is one of my favorite era's, and movies.. Love the old black and white..

    You have put your heart into this post and it shows... I see hope, love and faith in the clouds.. I also see a staff on the right. I believe there is much more to find.. I will try to come back this evening to view.

    Your poetry is always so enjoyable, Vera... And I am truly honored that you have shared my drawing.
    Bless you dear friend

  23. p.s. I would love the chance to win your most generous giveaway

  24. First I must day that your pictures are simply stunning - great job! I love all the same movies that you do. In fact my ex and my song was "As Time Goes By". I still love it to this day. They don't make movies like that anymore.

    That picture reminds me of a angel watching over Philly - so beautiful.
    What a great give-away, so please enter my name in the drawing.
    This was a wonderful post - I enjoyed it very much. I have decorated my home Country French and love everything French.
    Have a wonderful week.

  25. Vera, you are gorgeous! Simply gorgeous! These Noir-Boys!!!!! Yeur family now has a broaaad grin on the face - sooooo goooood ;)))))!!
    And you have Penny´s "Wicked"! You´ve got the sense for so many directions of feelings and art. Me, I like the style of filml noir very much, but I like it sooo much darker, as I have fallen for Lestat in all those Anne Rice books. He would like it here, as my home changes into MY HOME more and more ;))
    Vera, I wish you very inspiring dark and moody hours, there is sooo much in those aspects, and with a great sense of humour it makes it grand :)))
    Hugs to you, John and the gorgeous Gangsterboys, your friend Méa, who just LOVES this time

  26. I love black and white films. There is a HUGE screen at the site where my son had his wedding and throughout the night, they had black and white films playing. They raided my DVD collection. I wanted to have The Artist playing, but I don't have a copy of it.

    You know I love your mice. My hand has still not recovered from my felting class, but I am determine to make a mouse or two.

    As to what I see in the picture, I am probably nuts, but I see an old fashioned, European style Santa Claus.

  27. You've definitely nailed the feel of Film Noir. I come from a movie loving family, and, I brought my sons up to enjoy films, especially the old classics. Great post, Vera.

  28. Thank you Vera! I am so happy you enjoyed... You are so kind to always wander over to visit.. Have a wonderful day
    Sending you a gentle hug

  29. Vera, how did I miss this post? I am a huge fan of black and white photography. The last picture of the sky is hauntingly breathtaking. I took a film class in college and that was when I was introduced to film noir. Can we talk about how amazing and chic your car is??? All of the shadows in the pictures give so much depth to them.

  30. Beautiful post, Vera. Everything is so different in black and white. I don't know how to explain the last photo, but it is very spiritual and moving.

  31. Ah, the intrigue, the mystery, the moodiness of film noir, first in that classic, Hollywood style, with charismatic characters portrayed by Bogart and Bacall and Bergman, and now, with your black and white shots of the multi-faceted character of your own home, a set design like no other!

    I so enjoyed all your selections, but really love the snap of that single, candlestick sconce, for it perfectly illustrates the essence of exploring the darkness, paving the way to clarity, and ultimately shedding light on matters previously perplexing!

    Your capture of that brilliantly dramatic sky is captivating! I see strength, power, and direction, motion with a purpose, and gigantic greatness of will.

    Love to you, my friend!


  32. What a fun post, Vera! Nothing like a good old black and white movie, some suspense, and intrigue!! Your giveaway sounds tres magnifique! Please enter me:) I've not heard of those cookies, they sound yummy! My very favorite French cookies are called "Petite Ecolier", they have both dark chocolate dipped, and milk chocolate coated (my favorite!). You can buy them here in the states, but I try not to, as they are hard to resist!

  33. You did totally nail film noir in this post. You could be a stylist. Are you? I love the films you mentioned here. What a cute and fun giveaway! You are very generous.

  34. How interesting about the hot sauce on the pumpkins. That's funny that you mentioned the squirrels because my last post was about the squirrels. I don't get any in my neighborhood because it's a new subdivision and there are no grown trees yet, but I do see many of them at the park. So, you get some trying to eat your pumpkins, oh my! Is there many in your neighborhood?


  35. I love black and white. And all the movies you mentioned! As always, this post is chocked full of goodness. Lovely! Can't wait for your theatre this year. :)

  36. Your posts always bear reading f two or three times over, and this one is no exception. So interesting, our mutual attraction to art en noir. My best day dreams and imaginings have always been so. This certainly doesn't mean these are depressing or morbid - while they are often full of mystery and intrigue, they are more often en noir because they are well-defined, clear and (to me!) so very beautiful without the distraction of colour.
    Your is certainly powerful and the image is undeniable.I hope that it means that we are all being watched and cared-for in these rocky times.
    So - thus has been a rather wordy comment, but it remains to be said how sweet it is for you to have put together such a generous gift!

  37. Drat! Not trying to be mysterious or respond en noir. I had signed in and commented from another account. So Honora is I, Pondside!

  38. Hello my talented Vera, I am so curious! I adore Halloween, now more than I did when my kids were small. I am hoping the fall short days will allow me more time indoors at my computer. I linger in the Indian Summer and stay outside as long as I can. Thanks for all your sweet visits and comments! xoxox

  39. Great giveaway! Fingers crossing!
    Love your blog! Love film noir!
    Great post!

  40. Vera, I'm not sure who the witches that are sewn together are made by. I looked on the tag, but it doesn't say. I know I got mine or Nel's at Marshall's. Aren't they so cute?

    Enjoy your gourds that you got in the mail. They sound delightful. I'd love to see them.