The Philosophy of Film Noir

  • by Mark T. Conard
  • Narrated by Jack Chekijian
  • 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Noir emerged as a prominent American film genre in the early 1940s, distinguishable by its use of unusual lighting, sinister plots, mysterious characters, and dark themes. From The Maltese Falcon (1941) to Touch of Evil (1958), films from this classic period reflect an atmosphere of corruption and social decay that attracted such accomplished directors as John Huston, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, and Orson Welles. The Philosophy of Film Noir is the first volume to focus exclusively on the philosophical underpinnings of these iconic films. Opening with an examination of what constitutes noir cinema, the book interprets the philosophical elements consistently present in the films - themes such as moral ambiguity, reason versus passion, and pessimism. The contributors to the volume also argue that the essence and elements of noir have fundamentally influenced movies outside of the traditional noir period. Neo-noir films such as Pulp Fiction (1994), Fight Club (1999), and Memento (2000) have reintroduced the genre to a contemporary audience. As they assess the concepts present in individual films, the contributors also illuminate and explore the philosophical themes that surface in popular culture.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not bad for a "Publish or Perish" thesis

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 after learning from this tome, but I doubt that it is the fault of this book. If you have an affinity for Noir and/or Hard Boiled Mysteries, you will benefit from this presentation.
Narrator Jack does his usual professional best with this. Advisory: When utilizing an academic performed by Narrator Jack, you will find it best to overview at 1.5x speed first, then at normal speed with pen/paper at the ready. This is the perfect way to learn, as his normal rate for these is VERY conducive to appropriate note taking, and unlike class lectures, you can overview first to minimize redundant note-taking.
I am thankful for this gift.
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- Jan

The Philosophy of Film Noir and Pop Culture

I absolutely loved this audiobook and that would likely be because I love film noir. This was a wonderful overview and look at how it became popular. This is a gem for any movie buff who enjoys the genre. Even if film noir isn't someone's favorite genre, I think the philosophy itself is interesting in every way. Definitely recommended.

Jack Chekijian narrates this audiobook with style and it goes well with the book. He makes this a winning combination of author/narrator. He speaks clearly and is one of my favorite narrators.

Audiobook received in exchange for an honest review.
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- Teresa "It makes me happy to wake up everyday and look forward to listening. Many times I listen while doing artwork. I find it very relaxing."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-05-2015
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks