- Paperback: 408 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; Updated ed. edition (January 14, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520254023
- ISBN-13: 978-0520254022
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
More than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts Updated ed. Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Naremore's program is to insistently complicate the long-standing debate over the boundaries and characteristics of Hollywood's most infiltrative and self-conscious genre. His book works. . . . "More than Nights is structured like Kurosawa's Rashomon, as a series of views onto aspects of an impossible elusive story."--"Bookforum --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
Top customer reviews
Chapter 1 gives us an account of "The History of an Idea", starting with a history of the intellectual and cinematic climate in France from which the idea of film noir emerged in the mid-1940s. How the new crop of American crime films were interpreted by surrealist and existentialist schools of thought. This chapter continues through Paul Schrader's 1972 essay, "Notes on Film Noir". Notice that Naremore considers the "First Age of Film Noir" to be 1946-1959, as the idea was born in 1946, although many noir films were made before then.
Chapter 2, "Modernism and Blood Melodrama", explains that the hard-boiled school of literature was an outgrowth of modernism, which combined with what Graham Greene called "blood melodrama" films to create film noir. Includes 3 detailed case studies: the writings of Dashiell Hammett, Graham Greene, and an analysis of Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder's adaptation of James M. Cain's "Double Indemnity".
Chapter 3, "From Dark Films to Black Lists", talks about the impact of the Production Code and challenges the idea that film noirs are basically apolitical by discussing some social-problem noirs and demonstrating that some artists tried to inject politics into their films during the black list years. Chapter 4, "Low is High", addresses the "complex relationship between economics, reception, and cultural prestige" by providing an interesting detailed study of the distinctions -and lack of distinctions- between A, B, and intermediate films of the 1940s and 1950s. The economics of modern low-budget direct-to-video thrillers is also discussed.
Chapter 5, "Old Is New", makes that point that classic film noir is actually stylistically rather heterogeneous. It discusses the style of John Alton, the low-key lighting of "Out of the Past", and the appeal of black-and-white photography. The nostalgic style of "Chinatown" and the new approaches of "The Long Goodbye" and "Pulp Fiction" are analyzed, as noir style made the transition from black-and-white to color.
Chapter 6, "The Other Side of the Street", starts off by discussing film noir's representations of women and homosexuals and moves on to explorations of racial and ethnic themes. There are sections on Asia -images of Asian characters and Asian cinema, Latin America -to which classic characters fled for freedom, and Africa -black protest novels, hard-boiled fiction, and black characters in crime films. Chapter 7, "The Noir Mediascape", explores the "circulation and transformation of noir motifs" through the media: movies, comics, television, literature, in the past and present. This chapter includes the most extensive discussion of neo-noir in the book.
There is a great deal of valuable information and provocative opinion in "More Than Night". I'm giving it 4 stars, because I think the book is disingenuous on one crucial point. Mr. Naremore chooses to view film noir as something undefinable, as an idea, not a category -as "film noir", as opposed to film noir. "Film noir", the idea, the discourse, certainly exists. There is more evidence of that in popular culture than anyone could identify. But sometimes, primarily in chapters 1 and 3, the author takes issue with film theorists who believe that film noir is also a group of films that can and should be identified and described despite the fact that the group has fuzzy borders. The problem with this is that these two schools of thought can't realistically debate, because their purposes are different. The result is that, when Naremore tries to discredit some of the widely held views of film noir, he can only do so by misrepresenting or misapplying them. In any case, "More Than Night" isn't light reading or an introductory text, but it is a knowledgeable, opinionated, and often insightful book for noir buffs, students, and professors.