Women in Film Noir / Edition 1

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Published in 1978, the first edition of this text assembled scholars and critics committed to understanding the cinema in terms of gender, sexuality, politics, psychoanalysis and semiotics. This edition is expanded to include essays which explore "neo-noir", postmodernism and other trends.

Thrillers and melodramas of the 1940's and 1950's, such as Gilda and Double Indemnity, contain a gallery of strong female characters who resist and disburb the male-ordered world.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Film noir flourished in the years during and immediately following World War II, but the genre has never disappeared, as shown by the recent popularity of films like Basic Instinct, Bound, and LA Confidential. These academic essays, compiled by Kaplan (English, SUNY), ponder the "absent family" in noir, the role of woman as destroyer and redeemer, the common theme of female duplicity, and the role of women in the narrative structure. Other films considered here are Blue Gardenia, Gilda, Double Indemnity, modern noir films like Klute, and the horror classic The Haunting, which one critic sees as a representation of the "disruptive force of lesbian desire." Though few studies of women in this popular genre exist, the book's academic format and language will discourage most general readers. Recommended for academic libraries.--Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780851706665
  • Publisher: BFI Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Series: Distributed for the British Film Institute
  • Edition description: EXP
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 238
  • Sales rank: 1,023,309
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Klute 1 - a contemporary Film Noir and feminist criticism, Christine Gledhill--woman's place - the absent family of Film Noir, Sylvia Harvey--women in Film Noir, Janey Place--duplicity in "Mildred Pierce", Pam Cook--the place of women in Fritz Lang's "The Blue Gardenia", E. Ann Kaplan--"Double Indemnity", Claire Johnston--"Klute" 2 - feminism and "Klute", Christine Gledhill--resistance through charisma - Rita Hayworth and "Gilda", Richard Dyer--postscript - queers and women in Film Noir, Richard Dyer--female spectator, lesbian spectator - "The Haunting", Patricia White--femme fatale or lesbian femme - "Bound" in sexual difference, Chris Straayer--the postmodern always rings twice - constructing the femme fatale in 1990's cinema, Kate Stables--the "dark continent" of Film Noir - race, displacement and metaphor in "Cat People" and "The Lady from Shanghai", E. Ann Kaplan--"Gilda" didn't do any of those things you've been losing sleep over - the central women in 1940s Film Noir, Angela Martin.

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