Overview

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 ...

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A Companion to Film Noir

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118523711
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/27/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 544
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Andrew Spicer is Reader in Cultural History at the University of the West of England, UK. His principal research interests lie in film and cultural history, including genre, stardom and constructions of masculinity, British cinema, and the role of producers and screenwriters in film-making. He has published widely on all these topics, including Typical Men (2003) and Sydney Box (2006), and three volumes on film noir: Film Noir (2002), European Film Noir (2007), and the Historical Dictionary of Film Noir (2010). He is currently co-editing a volume about film producers, and writing a study of Sean Connery.

Helen Hanson is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Exeter, UK. Her research interests cover adaptation, gender and genre, film history, film style and technology, with a particular focus on the history of Hollywood.  She has written articles and chapters on these topics, and has authored Hollywood Heroines: Film Noir and the Female Gothic Film (2007) and co-edited The Femme Fatale: Images, Histories, Contexts (2010). She also has a forthcoming book on the evolution of sound technology, sound craft and film style in Hollywood cinema from 1931–1950.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Notes on Contributors x

Acknowledgments xviii

Foreword xix
James Naremore

Introduction: The Problem of Film Noir 1
Andrew Spicer

Part I Conceptualizing Film Noir 15

1 The Strange Case of Film Noir 17
Robert Porfirio

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

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

4 Cinephilia and Film Noir 67
Corey K. Creekmur

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

5 Precursors to Film Noir 79
Wheeler Winston Dixon

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

7 Film Noir and Horror 111
Peter Hutchings

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

9 Crime Fiction and Film Noir 142
William Marling

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

Part III Social, Industrial, and Commercial Contexts 175

11 The Politics of Film Noir 177
Brian Neve

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

13 Film Noir and Studio Production Practices 211
Geoff Mayer

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

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

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

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

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

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

19 Acting and Performance in Film Noir 318
Donna Peberdy

Part V Identities and Film Noir 335

20 Film Noir and Subjectivity 337
Christophe Gelly

21 Women in Film Noir 353
Yvonne Tasker

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

23 Ethnicity and Race in American Film Noir 387
Dan Flory

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

Part VI Noir in Other Forms 421

25 Radio Noir in the USA 423
Jesse Schlotterbeck

26 Television Noir 440
Steven Sanders

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

Part VII New Geographies of Film Noir 477

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

29 Bombay Noir 496
Lalitha Gopalan

Index 512

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