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Contemporary Film Noir From Chinatown to The Dark Knight
Douglas Keesey
  • Covers a comprehensive range of neo-noir, including those that have a cult following, had high grosses at the box office and are most often taught in film courses
  • Gives special attention to some of the most recent neo-noirs, including 23 films released since 2000
  • Features directors such as The Coen Brothers, David Lynch, Michael Mann, Christopher Nolan, Steven Soderbergh and Quentin Tarantino
  • Films discussed include Fargo, Get Carter, L.A. Confidential, Mulholland Dr., Oldboy and Pulp Fiction

A world-weary detective, a seductive femme fatale, a mysterious murder – these elements of classic film noir live again in more recent hardboiled detective films from Chinatown to Sin City. But the themes and styles of noir have also spilled over into contemporary films about gangsters, cops and serial killers (Reservoir Dogs, The Departed, Se7en). New hybrid genres have been created, including psycho-noirs (Memento), techno-noirs (The Matrix) and superhero noirs (The Dark Knight).

Beginning with an introduction that shows how neo-noir has drawn upon contemporary social and historical events as well as the latest technological advances in filmmaking, this book discusses the neo-noir films that have made the biggest splash in the field (‘landmarks’), the directors who have become cult figures of neo-noir, (‘auteurs’), films from non-English speaking countries (‘international’) and neo-noirs that put a new spin on past noirs (‘remakes’).

The main credits and a plot summary are given for each neo-noir, followed by an in-depth analysis containing original insights into the meaning of the film. ‘Factoids’ also present fascinating facts, behind-the-scenes anecdotes and lively quotes from the cast and crew.

Douglas Keesey is a professor of film and literature at California Polytechnic State University. His published books include Neo-Noir: Contemporary Film Noir from Chinatown to The Dark Knight (Kamera Books) as well as Catherine Breillat, Don DeLillo, Erotic Cinema, Peter Greenaway, and Paul Verhoeven.

release date: 23 September 2010
price: £12.99
ISBN13: 9781842433119
binding: paperback
format: 194 X 135mm with flaps
extent: 224
rights: world
BIC code: APFN
For a review copy, or for further information,
please contact: Frances Teehan
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Publisher: Kamera Books
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Tel/Fax: +44 (0)1582 766348
UK Distribution: Turnaround
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Tel: +44 (0)208 829 3000
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Neo-Noir is a fascinating look at the way an established genre has evolved to embrace modern styles and mores. By picking films that are both clear re-interpretations of the old school and those that depart from the definitions of the accepted genre, Keesey invokes opinion and creates a need to re-examine the language and morality of recent films in a way that not only relates to the old but treats it as a weapon to engage with the new. Films you are familiar with gain new perspectives and there are plenty of others that you'll want to seek out.
read the full review >>
- Leo White, kamera.co.uk

Douglas Keesey on some forgotten neo-noir classics
- Dazed and Confused Magazine - January 2011