Build Your Book Case: Film Noir and the Books to Own - Criminal ElementThis post provides a full and comprehensive listing of books on film noir that can be purchased on-line. This book displays a salutary knowledge of the underpinnings of the genre; serves as a fabulous reference book; and most importantly, dishes the real life dirt on the freaks, geeks, commies, nymphos, hopheads, has-beens, red-baiters, and all-purpose fiends who made this genre great. The Rough Guide to Film Noir A great introduction that covers the genre from early German expressionism to the latest neo-noirs, and highlights the movies to look out for. It contains production credits, plot summaries, and brief analyses of hundreds of films noirs, as well as excellent appendices which include summaries of the Film Noir genre and a chronology. Philosophy professor Steven Sanders sifts through existentialist texts and classic noir films to find the meaning of life, while several contributors weigh in on themes of morality and Pulp Fiction gets a deep scholarly massage from Conard. Dense and intriguing, the book suggests noir is best perceived as a slightly warped mirror held up to contemporary society.
Top five film noirs that are better than the books
Make Your Own List. Film writer Barry Forshaw plunges us into a world of dangerous women in ankle bracelets, flawed heroes silhouetted against a dark rain-swept street, smoky jazz scores and very unhappy endings. Before you start talking about the books, could you actually define film noir for me? They were making crime movies and dramas. This is the book that kick-started appreciation of film noir. Sarris made us take the key directors seriously, as well as the genre itself. The French had already been taking popular genres seriously for years, but this was the book that ignited the touch paper here.
In recent years, film noir studies have exploded in popularity. In the first half of the book Muller recounts the noir careers of these indispensible stars, and then in the second half he catches up to them decades later and interviews them about their lives in and out of the movie business. The first half of the book is fascinating; the second half is heartbreakingly beautiful. The Art of Noir is a coffee table collection of the often gorgeous as well as the sometimes ridiculous, and occasionally shocking posters and graphics from the classic era of noir. This book has been around for a while and has gone through several different editions, so you should get the most recent edition
But it is the first big screen incarnation that still holds up as one of the finest crime films ever made. The resulting maze of a story is a woozy ride through murder, set ups and betrayal, as scenes of exposition were replaced with flirtatious trysts and charged, race-horse dialogue. Read The Killers. The novella was widely regarded around Hollywood as unfilmable due to its immoral characters and the restrictions imposed by the Motion Picture Production Code — an old set of ethical industry guidelines. And now, over 70 years later, Double Indemnity is still regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made. Farewell my Lovely by Raymond Chandler was originally three short stories the writer, in his own words, cannabilised , to fit together as a single novel. The cooly laconic performances, the stark lighting by director Jacques Tourneur and cameraman Nicholas Musuraca, and the simple premise of a man trying to escape his history, make this not only an archetypal noir, but one of the best book-to-film adaptations ever committed to celluloid.
Whatever kind of reading you like best in life, you can find your match in a good noir detective novel. Great stories with complex plots? Hilarious humor, albeit of a generally dark variety?
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