“I’m Learning to Smoke Now”: The Evolution of Cigarettes in Orson Welles’s The Lady from Shanghai | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2042-1869
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1877

Abstract

This article explores the symbolic connotations of cigarettes in Orson Welles’s (1947). Although a common theme in film noir, the act of smoking can become a dynamic component of cinematic narrative. My work argues that Elsa Bannister’s use of cigarettes in the film reinvents the object’s role within the genre, as cigarettes move from being a “thing” to embodying Elsa’s power. The article demonstrates this by examining valuable scenes through shot-by-shot analysis and thus challenging the characters’ agency in relation to Elsa.

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2022-03-01
2024-02-29
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