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A Companion to Film Noir

ISBN: 978-1-4443-3627-6
542 pages
September 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Film Noir (1444336274) cover image

Description

An authoritative companion that offers a wide-ranging thematic survey of this enduringly popular cultural form and includes scholarship from both established and emerging scholars as well as analysis of film noir's influence on other media including television and graphic novels.
  • Covers a wealth of new approaches to film noir and neo-noir that explore issues ranging from conceptualization to cross-media influences
  • Features chapters exploring the wider ‘noir mediascape’ of television, graphic novels and radio
  • Reflects the historical and geographical reach of film noir, from the 1920s to the present and in a variety of national cinemas
  • Includes contributions from both established and emerging scholars
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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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Author Information

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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Reviews

“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)

“A rich volume exploring the depth, breadth and scope of scholarship on film noir from a diverse array of perspectives. A valuable contribution to the evolving landscape of noir criticism.”
Sheri Chinen Biesen, Rowan University

“Wide-ranging yet historically specific, global in scope but sensitive to local contexts of production, reception, and style, Spicer and Hanson's collection is a superb guide to an elusive category—the film noir—that continues to fascinate students, scholars, and cinephiles alike.”
Justus Nieland, Michigan State University

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