This bountiful anthology combines all the key early writings on film noir with many newer essays, including some published here for the first time. The collection is assembled by the editors of the Third Edition of Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference To The American Style
, now regarded as the standard work on the subject.
If students of film noir agree on anything, it is on the boundaries of the classic period, which stretched from John Houston's The Maltese Falcon in 1941 to Orson Welles's Touch Of Evil in 1958. Part One of Film Noir Reader reprints eight seminal essays that classify and analyze this period and its product. One of those essays, the first English translation of "Toward A Definition Of Film Noir" by Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton, has the distinction of being both the first and only contemporaneous study of the classic period; its attempt to define film noir has never been superseded. Part One also contains, among other essays, Raymond Durgnat's influential "Paint It Black: The Family Tree Of Film Noir," reproduced in its original length; Paul Schrader's "Notes On Film Noir," the first widely read analysis of the genre; and "Noir Cinema" by Charles Higham and Joel Greenberg, which in its opening paragraphs evoked the dark, wet streets and flashing neon signs that became the generally recognized ambience of film noir.
In Part Two are "Case Studies" of such individual films and filmmakers as Robert Siodmak's The Killers and Phantom Lady, and Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly. Part Three probes deeper into the question "What Is This Thing Called Noir? - the title of one of the new essays - and considers specific issues like narrative structure, the femme fatale, the influence of film noir on early television and, finally, the rebirth of the genre in the neo-noir films of our own day.
In its scope and richness, this anthology is an essential work in the small but growing library of books on a movement of continuing, haunting fascination.
(Limelight). This bountiful anthology combines all the key early writings on film noir with many newer essays, including some published here for the first time. The collection is assembled by the editors of the Third Edition of Film Noir: An Enclyclopedic Reference to the American Style , now regarded as the standard work on the subject.