A Companion to Film Noir

  • ID: 2330721
  • Book
  • 542 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Ever since French commentators identified a new mode of American film–making as they watched Double Indemnity and Murder, My Sweet just after World War II ended, film noir has fascinated cineastes like no other genre. This authoritative companion features the work of a highly distinguished group of international scholars, adopting a thematic approach that examines key topics rather than focusing on individual titles or auteurs. It reflects the expanding purview of analysts by including novel subjects such as neo–noir, international noir movies from Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australasia, and noir as expressed in other forms such as comics, graphic novels, posters, radio and television.

As our understanding of the noir corpus expands to constitute a noir mediascape , this volume represents a compelling addition to the academic debate, interrogating film noir from a range of angles including its conceptualization; its hidden, hybrid and transmedia histories; its social, industrial and commercial contexts; its aesthetic fabric; its presentation of identity; and its proliferation in other media forms and geographical loci. The companion explores noir in relation to film history, questions of genre and categorization, issues of style and identity, and its particularized modes of production. Informed by cutting–edge scholarship, A Companion to Film Noir extends and deepens the developing understanding of this enduringly captivating mode of cultural expression.

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List of Illustrations viii

Notes on Contributors x

Acknowledgments xviii

Foreword xixJames Naremore

Introduction: The Problem of Film Noir 1Andrew Spicer

Part I Conceptualizing Film Noir 15

1 The Strange Case of Film Noir 17Robert Porfirio

2 Genre, Hybridity, Heterogeneity: or, the Noir–SF–Vampire–Zombie–Splatter–Romance–Comedy–Action–Thriller Problem 33Mark Bould

3 A Wet Emptiness: The Phenomenology of Film Noir 50Henrik Gustafsson

4 Cinephilia and Film Noir 67Corey K. Creekmur

Part II Hidden, Hybrid, and Transmedia Histories and Influences 77

5 Precursors to Film Noir 79Wheeler Winston Dixon

6 Crisscrossed? Film Noir and the Politics of Mobility and Exchange 94Alastair Phillips

7 Film Noir and Horror 111Peter Hutchings

8 Borderings: The Film Noir Semi–Documentary 125R. Barton Palmer

9 Crime Fiction and Film Noir 142William Marling

10 Film Noir, American Painting and Photography: Questions of Influence 158Tom Ryall

Part III Social, Industrial, and Commercial Contexts 175

11 The Politics of Film Noir 177Brian Neve

12 The Black Typewriter: Who Wrote Film Noir? 193David Wilt

13 Film Noir and Studio Production Practices 211Geoff Mayer

14 Film Noir and Post–Studio Production Practices 229John Berra

15 Selling Noir: Stars, Gender, and Genre in Film Noir Posters and Publicity 245Mary Beth Haralovich

Part IV The Fabric of Film Noir: Style and Performance 265

16 Out of the Shadows: Noir Lighting and Hollywood Cinematography 267Patrick Keating

17 The Ambience of Film Noir: Soundscapes, Design, and Mood 284Helen Hanson

18 In a Lonely Tone: Music in Film Noir 302David Butler

19 Acting and Performance in Film Noir 318Donna Peberdy

Part V Identities and Film Noir 335

20 Film Noir and Subjectivity 337Christophe Gelly

21 Women in Film Noir 353Yvonne Tasker

22 "The Corpse on Reprieve": Film Noir′s Cautionary Tales of "Tough Guy" Masculinity 369Gaylyn Studlar

23 Ethnicity and Race in American Film Noir 387Dan Flory

24 The Climb and the Chase: Film Noir and the Urban Scene Representations of the City in Three Classic Noirs 405Murray Pomerance

Part VI Noir in Other Forms 421

25 Radio Noir in the USA 423Jesse Schlotterbeck

26 Television Noir 440Steven Sanders

27 "It Rhymes with Lust": The Twisted History of Noir Comics 458James Lyons

Part VII New Geographies of Film Noir 477

28 Film Noir in Asia: Historicizing South Korean Crime Thrillers 479Nikki J.Y. Lee and Julian Stringer

29 Bombay Noir 496Lalitha Gopalan

Index 512

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This is recommended for film studies and for humanities collections.   (Reference Reviews, 1 September 2015)

"The twenty–eight essays in this collection represent a landmark in noir criticism. Written by some of the most accomplished veterans in the field, as well as many new and promising voices, these essays are both deeply engaged with previously contested critical territory and agressively turned toward undiscovered and untilled terrain ... This is a collection that will be studied, cited, and, as with all of the most influential film noir criticism, contested for many years to come.   (Wide Angle, 1 March 2014)

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