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The Philosophy of Film Noir
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The Philosophy of Film Noir

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  3 reviews
From The Maltese Falcon (1941) to Touch of Evil (1958), the classic film noir is easily recognizable for its unusual lighting, sinister plots, and feeling of paranoia. For critics and fans alike, these films defined an era. The Philosophy of Film Noir explores philosophical themes and ideas inherent in classic noir and neo-noir films, establishing connections to diverse th ...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by University Press of Kentucky (first published 2005)
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I'm working my way through a stack of books on film noir--theory and criticism--so by the time I'm done a good annotated bibliography will be in hand.

First up is The Philosophy of Film Noir which features thirteen essays by philosophers and film theorists. These essays are written in plain english rather than highly technical academic lingo, so three cheers for the clear expression of ideas.

The book consists of three sections: (1) The Elements and Essence of Noir (2) Existentialism and Nihilism
Presents as a compilation of views regarding the basic tenets behind the Film Noir movement. I never had considered these things very much, viewing the film interpretations as validation of the Hard Boiled Mysteries which I relish. These chapters shine a light on the darker corners of the post-war attitudes of screenwiters, directors, and other Hollywood visionaries of the time, as well as the How and Why of their choices of novels to memorialize. The concepts of neo-noir still escape me, even a ...more
It was great fun watching old black-and-white movies from the Noir era, to fully appreciate this book!
Aside from that, it was a good way to get into 'the American mind', if there is such a thing, at a moment in time that was, well let's say, interesting.
Thought provoking ideas included the case of Phineas Gage, thriumphalist despair, America as a wasteland, among others, and of course Eco's metaphor of worldviews in the form of different kinds of labyrinths.
And of course, this book on classic
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Mark T. Conard earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Temple University in Philadelphia, and is now Associate Professor of Philosophy at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. In addition to writing fiction, he’s the co-editor of The Simpsons and Philosophy (2001), and Woody Allen and Philosophy (2004), both published by Open Court Press; and is editor of The Philosophy of Film Noir (2006), Th ...more
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