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Somewhere in the Night

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Omschrijving

Film noir is more than a cinematic genre. It is an essential aspect of American culture. Along with the cowboy of the Wild West, the denizen of the film noir city is at the very center of our mythological iconography. Described as the style of an anxious victor, film noir began during the post-war period, a strange time of hope and optimism mixed with fear and even paranoia. The shadow of this rich and powerful cinematic style can now be seen in virtually every artistic medium. The spectacular success of recent neo-film noirs is only the tip of an iceberg. In the dead-on, nocturnal jazz of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, the chilled urban landscapes of Edward Hopper, and postwar literary fiction from Nelson Algren and William S. Burroughs to pulp masters like Horace McCoy, we find an unsettling recognition of the dark hollowness beneath the surface of the American Dream.

Acclaimed novelist and poet Nicholas Christopher explores the cultural identity of film noir in a seamless, elegant, and enchanting work of literary prose. Examining virtually the entire catalogue of film noir, Christopher identifies the central motif as the urban labyrinth, a place infested with psychosis, anxiety, and existential dread in which the noir hero embarks on a dangerously illuminating quest. With acute sensitivity, he shows how technical devices such as lighting, voice over, and editing tempo are deployed to create the film noir world. Somewhere in the Night guides us through the architecture of this imaginary world, be it shot in New York or Los Angeles, relating its elements to the ancient cultural archetypes that prefigure it. Finally, Christopher builds an explanation of why film noir not only lives on but is currently enjoying a renaissance.

Somewhere in the Night can be appreciated as a lucid introduction to a fundamental style of American culture, and also as a guide to film noir's heyday. Ultimately, though, as the work of a bold talent adeptly manipulating poetic cadence and metaphor, it is itself a superb aesthetic artifact.

Van Publishers Weekly

03-03-1997 – Film is perhaps the most American of art forms, and film noir is easily the most American of its genres, a dark mirror that momentarily captures our ever-changing culture. In his new book, poet (Five Degrees and Other Poems) and novelist (The Soloist) Christopher guides readers into the labyrinth of the genre's gritty, urban underworld with its ruthless gangsters, hard-boiled detectives, femmes fatales and other fringe elements. Intellectually stimulating, thoroughly researched and excellently written, the book draws on a myriad of intellectual sources, from Roland Barthes to Marshall McLuhan. Christopher handily deconstructs the essence of film noir and shows the exchange of influences between the noir sensibility and every other aspect of American culture, from the paintings of Edward Hopper to the new role of women in the 20th century to the cultural paradigm shift of the war years and the atomic age. He discusses multitudes of films, from classics like Double Indemnity to neo-noirs like Chinatown, and, notably, a thorough and complex interpretation of the recent The Usual Suspects. Christopher writes with the mind of a scholar and the heart of a poet--incisive, metaphorical, illuminating and artful, yet without conceit or grandiosity. This fascinating book will be a treat for film buffs, film professionals and everyone in between.
Somewhere in the Night
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  • € 24,99
  • Beschikbaar op iPhone, iPad, iPod touch en Mac.
  • Categorie: Film
  • Publicatiedatum: 11-05-2010
  • Uitgever: Free Press
  • Tekstlengte: 304 pagina's
  • Taal: Engels
  • Vereisten: Om dit boek te bekijken moet je een iOS apparaat hebben met iBooks 1.3.1 of nieuwer en iOS 4.3.3 of nieuwer of een Mac met iBooks 1.0 of nieuwer en OS X 10.9 of nieuwer.

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