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Mixed feelings on this one Some of the in depth analysis of particular films is good Dead Reckoning stands out but this comes off muchas personal essay than a really valuable analysis for a wide audience Perhaps that s what Mr Christopher was intending or perhaps he let his novelistic poetic tendencies most of his published work is in those media get in the way of a thoroughgoing analysis of the subject He s sloppy in his research at times Frank Capra was NOT native born Mixed feelings on this one Some of the in depth analysis of particular films is good Dead Reckoning stands out but this comes off muchas personal essay than a really valuable analysis for a wide audience Perhaps that s what Mr Christopher was intending or perhaps he let his novelistic poetic tendencies most of his published work is in those media get in the way of a thoroughgoing analysis of the subject He s sloppy in his research at times Frank Capra was NOT native born Fritz Lang didn t direct Beware My Lovely and he seems at times to come to the genre with preconceived notions that get in the way of ameasured and nuanced approach, e.g claiming that Rififi is not noir because it s French, though its director is American in one sentence and being similarly dismissive of all other non American attempts, but going on at very great length about The Usual Suspects , surely not as self evidently noir as the author supposes He overuses the labyrinth motif and makes some fairly ridiculous claims Shakespeare, the proto noir writer and his slighting of the creative elements besides the directors and cinematographers sometimes detracts from his otherwise solid descriptions of the action No mention of such luminaries as Ida Lupino or Dan Duryea That said, the novelistic approach does keep things interesting, and he does spend a fair amount of time on some of the lesser known examples in the style So overall, worth a read, but certainly not the first book you should look for if you re interested in noir [[ Kindle ]] ↬ Somewhere in the Night: Film Noir and the American City ☔ Starting with the classic Out of the Past, Christopher takes us on the grand tour of the great film noirs With style and humor, he identifies the genre s central motif The city as labyrinth is key to entering the psychological and aesthetic framework of the film noir and goes on to analyze than three hundred films fromto the present Imbuing the language of film with the lyricism so praised in his novels, Christopher draws from his vast knowledge of literature to explore the genre s numerous influences Although it was a French critic who coined the term film noir, Christopher argues that Americans had been shooting films in the genre years even before the term was invented Citing cultural, social, and historical influences from all over the world, he effortlessly guides us through the labyrinthThis edition includes a new afterword and expanded filmography, making this bold and thoroughly researched book relevant and comprehensive than ever Frustrating book Liked the way it began, but mostly downhill from there The stars began falling and now two seems about right Overall, relects on the author as pompous and pretentious.The first couple chapters at least try to deal with theAmerican City in the book s subtitle By the end, it had become a totally different beast seems cobbled together from articles, conference presentations, maybe even class lectures The author, a poet, is now a full time professor at Columbia U., Frustrating book Liked the way it began, but mostly downhill from there The stars began falling and now two seems about right Overall, relects on the author as pompous and pretentious.The first couple chapters at least try to deal with theAmerican City in the book s subtitle By the end, it had become a totally different beast seems cobbled together from articles, conference presentations, maybe even class lectures The author, a poet, is now a full time professor at Columbia U., and if one were able to see his official CV, those conference presentations probably would be cited.From a semi scholarly tone, minus the footnotes, with hardly any single first person references, the final few chapters arepersonal and informal and, dare we say, sloppy, too But that s not to say the whole book isn t sloppy, because it certainly is the author badly needed both an editor and a proofreader, e.g., Georgia O Keeffe s name is spelled wrong in the index the director of one movie is identified as one person in the text and another in the list of noir films in the back of the book I didn t make a note at the time and don t care enough now to comb through to find out which film there are a variety of detail errors in film descriptions and, perhaps most egregious, the author says Bedford Falls in It s A Wonderful Life would have devolved into Pottersville after the hero s suicide Has the guy seen the film It s what would have happened if George Bailey HADN T BEEN BORN.But, slop aside, and wandering tone aside, there s still lots NOT to like I found the author s use of the term films noirs irritating if you want to be French, why not films noir Or if you want to be American, how about noir films But the double plural is stupid Many digressions into leftish philosophy and psychology In fact, I ve decided I m tired of writing about it Let s just say that if you ve seen lots of noir films so the guy s descriptions won t spoil them for you and you reinterested in the Cahiers du Cinema treatment than in reading about the films and actors and directors, than you might try this book Oh, the two lists of films at the end are worth noting If you like watching the film noirs, this might be a good read for you The lively, interesting discussion of the film noirs at times veers off into the intellectual i.e., Freud , but I liked the book for the most part Author s fave noirs are also mine OUT OF THE PAST and GUN CRAZY The movies plot summaries often contain spoilers, so reader beware The nice checklists of film noirs are both the classic and the so called neo noir movies. As a photographer fascinated by darkness and light both literally and as expressed in human behavior I love film noir.The author explores a number of themes and symbols that reoccur in the genre labyrinths, trains, darkness, smoking as a stand in for sex during strict code times, the archetypal characters He also writes about various directors and actors who were significant influences Picked up in a reminder bin, it sat on my bookshelf for some time but when I finally got to it the read was As a photographer fascinated by darkness and light both literally and as expressed in human behavior I love film noir.The author explores a number of themes and symbols that reoccur in the genre labyrinths, trains, darkness, smoking as a stand in for sex during strict code times, the archetypal characters He also writes about various directors and actors who were significant influences Picked up in a reminder bin, it sat on my bookshelf for some time but when I finally got to it the read was enjoyable I have since referred to the excellent lists of film noirs and neo noirs many times Re read 2 More a lyric discussion than serious analysis, with personal opinion freely mixed discussion of all sorts of elements of film noir from the lighting to the use of money, to the labyrinthine cities Femmes fatale, millionaires, boxers, vets, and other characters Crime, generally organized The use of color when it came in. I like this book for focusing on the environment and urban landscape of noir which is so haunting The rain, the sidewalk, the alley create mood and intention and further the plot Some of the details need proofing I am excited by most Film Noir books. he relates film noir to its social context and film origins some interesting ideas about labyrinths, femmes fatale and their interpretations not really a great book though. I read this book for analysis of the femme fatale, which it gave me, though I wouldn t say this is the most organized or necessarily scholarly book out there.