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Film Noir
  • Edited by Homer B. Pettey, Associate Professor of Literature and Film, University of Arizona , R. Barton Palmer, Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature, Clemson University
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Book description

This book traces the development of what we know as film noir from the proto-noir elements of Feuillade's silent French crime series and German Expressionism to the genre's mid-twentieth century popularization and influence on contemporary global media. By employing experimental lighting effects, oblique camera angles, distorted compositions, and shifting points-of-view, film noir's style both creates and comments upon a morally adumbrated world, where the alienating effects of the uncanny, the fetishistic, and the surreal dominate. What drew original audiences to film noir is an immediate recognition of this modern social and psychological reality. Much of the appeal of film noir concerns its commentary on social anxieties, its cynical view of political and capitalist corruption, and its all-too-brutal depictions of American modernity. This book examines the changing, often volatile shifts in representations of masculinity and femininity, as well as the genre's complex relationship with Afro-American culture, observable through noir's musical and sonic experiments. Key Features * Traces the history of film noir from its aesthetic antecedents through its mid-century popularization to its influence on contemporary global media * Discusses the influence of literary and artistic sources on the development of film noir * Includes extensive bibliographies, filmographies and recommended noir film viewing * Concludes with a reflective chapter by Alain Silver and James Ursini on their own influential studies and collections on film noir criticism

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