Film noir may seem a familiar genre to many, with its use of a complex narrative structure, flashbacks and voiceover narration, and with such archetypal characterisations as the femme fatale and private eye. But this introduction is not so much an account of what film noir is, but more an interrogation of the ways in which the term came to be applied to a particular group of American films of the 1940s and 1950s.
Ian Brookes asks: 'What is film noir?' With this sharply focused question active throughout the book, students will benefit from an introductory text designed to provide a sophisticated treatment of the problems inherent in the category. This will be the first critical introduction to film noir which takes into account the complexity of the term and the difficulties of straightforward definition and classification.
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