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"Film Noir: From Fritz Lang to Fight Club" explores the murky world of a genre responsible for many of film's most enduring images. Mark Bould discusses problems of definition and the often ambiguous nature of film noir and looks at modern films that could be called neo-noir. Iconic and enduring, film noir attracted great stars (Bogart, Bacall, Mitchum, Lancaster), many of the best directors of the era (Wilder, Lang, Preminger, Hawks, Siodmak, Welles) and this book is an indispensible guide to this popular genre.
acknowledgements a note on terminology on dangerous ground: introducing film noir 1 the set-up: fabricating film noir 2 out of the past: the prehistory of film noir 3 dark passage: the main cycle of film noir 4 out of the past, again: neo-noir filmography bibliography index
Mark Bould is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of the West of England. He is currently writing a book on John Sayles (Wallflower Press, forthcoming).
'Mark Bould's Film Noir: From Berlin to Sin City, true to the introductory spirit of Wallflower Press's Short Cuts series, offers a wonderfully compact and engaging entree to the dark, doomed world of film noir. Mobilizing chaos theory as his model of a dynamic, non-linear system, Bould shows how film noir is a necessary fiction, a critical fabrication whose cultural and historical preconditions, whether German Expressionism or French Poetic Realism, American gangster movies or Chandleresque detective novels, provided the "dangerous ground" out of which the genre, like the Maltese Falcon itself, materialized. The delectable films that constitute this corpus, featuring hard-boiled men and even harder-boiled women, vertiginous investigations and all manner of entrapment, represent, as Bould's indispensable volume demonstrates (see his ingenious reading of De Palma's Femme Fatale!), a cinematic treasure-trove that one can return to, perpetually, with profit and delight.' Bob Miklitsch, Ohio University