By Joan Copjec

ISBN-10: 0860916251

ISBN-13: 9780860916253

Paris, summer season 1946. This second marks a big occasion in cinema historical past, no longer of creation yet of exhibition. For this used to be the summers whilst, after the hiatus of the second one global conflict, French critics have been back given the chance to view motion pictures from Hollywood. the flicks they observed, together with The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity. Laura, homicide, My candy, and the girl within the Window, triggered the naming and theorization of a brand new phenomenon: movie noir. a lot of what has been written concerning the style considering has remained in the orbit of this initial overview. whereas sympathetic in the direction of the early French critics, this selection of unique essays makes an attempt to maneuver past their first involved glance. starting with an autonomy of that glance - of the 'poujadist' weather that nourished it and the upcoming cave in of the Hollywood studio process that gave it its mournful inflection - colors of Noir re-explores and calls into query the article first developed by way of it. The impetus for this shift in viewpoint comes from the movies themselves, considered within the mild of latest social and political issues, and from new theoretical insights. numerous contributions examine the re-emergence of noir lately, so much significantly within the hybrid types produced within the Eighties by means of the merging of noir with technological know-how fiction and horror, for instance Blade Runner and Angel center, and in motion pictures by means of new black administrators akin to Deep hide, instantly out of Brooklyn, A Rage in Harlem and One fake circulation. different essays concentrate on the open city territory during which the noir hero hides out; the place of work areas in Chandler, and the palpable feel of ready that fills empty warehouses, corridors and resort rooms. ultimately, colours of Noir will pay renewed realization to the deadly relation among the sexes; to the femme fatale and the opposite ladies in noir. because the function of ladies expands, the femme fatale continues to be lethal, yet her deadliness takes on new meanings. Contibutors: Janet Bergstrom, Joan Copjec, Elizabeth Cowie, Manthia Diawara, Frederic Jameson, Dean MacCannel, Fred Pfeil, David Reid and Jayne L. Walker, Marc Vernet, Slavoj Zizek.

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Additional resources for Shades of Noir: A Reader (Haymarket)

Example text

42. O n this point, see Sac van Be rcovitch, Th e America n Jeremiad (Mad ison : Un iversity o f Wisconsin Press, 197 8). ,no NOIR 50 . To m Conley has p rese n ted an int er estin g th esis whic h tries to show the influ en ce o f ex iste ntia lism and its th eat re on fil m nair: see his a rticle, 'Sta te of Film Noir', T heatre journal ( 1987 ), pp. 347-63. See also Rob ert G. Po rfir io, ' No Way Out : Existe n tia l Motifs in the Film Noir', Sight and Soun d, vol. 45, no. 4 (Au tu m n 1976) , pp .

It would be an interesting experiment to try to mak e a n encyclopaedia of detective films not included in the encyclopaedias offilms noirs. This would engage us in a veritable archaeology of the American d etectiv e film, a nd no longer in a compilation attached to arbitrarily chosen dates. StiIl, if the context of 24 c f F a II C \01 II C. F f( n FILM NOIR ON THE EDGE OF DOOM 1946-55 in France ca n explain the crea tio n o f the term 'fiLm nair', it is astonishing that it has lasted and that it has regularly been reviv ed and renewed by su cceeding ge ne ra­ tion s, until now and the present volume.

A. and looked it eve ry in ch') are virtuall y th e onl y middle-class characters in all of Chandler ; and th e y are there to show that in matters of wealth and power (their daughter has been murdered) the police cannot be counted on to protect even these most solid and re sp ectable average citizens. As for the working class , Bill Chess in the same novel can be thought to stand as their ' re p rese n ta tio na l representative', but he is a cripple and an alcoholi c and a wife-beater and makes Chandler's problem even clearer: how to co nvey the average and the everyday in the co u rse of pursuing the ' m e m o ra ble' and th e ex ceptional, of registering what breaks the routine, challenges the serene reprodu ction of th e social order, counts as crime and adventure.

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