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Film Noir (Hardcover)
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Film Noir (Hardcover)
Series: Traditions in World Cinema
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This book explores the development of film noir as a cultural and
artistic phenomenon. 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-20th 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. Concluding
with extensive bibliographies, filmographies, recommended noir film
viewing, and a reflective chapter by Alain Silver and James Ursini
on their own influential studies and collections on film noir
criticism, this book offers students and scholars of Film Studies a
scholarly, cultural and aesthetic history of the genre. It traces
the history of film noir from its aesthetic antecedents through its
mid-century popularization to its influence on contemporary global
media. It discusses the influence of literary and artistic sources
on the development of film noir. It includes guides to further
reading and recommended viewing.
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