A Panorama of American Film Noir (1941-1953)

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City Lights Books, 2002 - Education - 242 pages
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When it appeared in France in 1955, A Panorama of American Film Noir was the first book ever on the genre: this clairvoyant study of Hollywood film noir is at last available in English translation.

A Panorama of American Film Noir addresses the essential amorality of its subject from a decidedly Surrealist angle, focusing on noir's dreamlike, unwonted, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel atmosphere, and setting it in the social context of mid-century America.

Beginning with the first film noir, The Maltese Falcon, and continuing through the post war "glory days," which included such films as Gilda, The Big Sheep, Dark Passage, and The Lady from Shanghai, Borde and Chaumeton examine the dark sides of American society, film, and literature that made film noir possible, even necessary.

A Panorama of American Film Noir includes a film noir chronology, a voluminous filmography, a comprehensive index, and a selection of black-and-white production stills.

"Incredibly, this is the first English translation of the very influential 1955 French book that initially identified, described and assessed the Hollywood movies that we now term film noir . . . a seminal work of cinema description and analysis and therefore an essential purchase for most libraries." --From the Starred Review in Library Journal

Raymond Borde (1920 - 2004), founder of the Cin math que de Toulouse, wrote extensively on film history.; among his short films is a study of the artist Pierre Molinier.

Etienne Chaumeton was the film critic of the Toulouse newspaper La D p che until his death.


 

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A panorama of American film noir, 1941-1953

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Incredibly, this is the first English translation of the very influential 1955 French book that initially identified, described, and assessed the Hollywood movies that we now term film noir-or dark ... Read full review

Contents

Toward a definition of film noir
5
The sources of film noir
15
The war years and the formation of a style
29
The glory days 19461948
53
Decadence and transformation 19491950
83
The demise of a series 19511953
97
Influences
113
Crossfire Thieves Highway The SetUp I The psycho
127
A balance sheet
139
Postface
155
Chronological index of the main series
161
Index
229
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About the author (2002)

Raymond Borde (b. 1920), founder of the Cinémathèque de Toulouse, has written extensively on film history.

Etienne Chaumeton was the film critic of the Toulouse newspaper La Dépêche until his recent death.

Paul Hammond is a writer, editor, and translator living in Barcelona. He edited and translated The Shadow and Its Shadow: Surrealist Writings on the Cinema, and he is the author of Constellations of Miró, Breton.

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