Readings

[B&C] Amazon logo Borde, Raymond, and Etienne Chaumeton. A Panorama of American Film Noir, 1941-1953. Translated by Paul Hammond. City Lights Books, 2002. ISBN: 9780872864122. (Original French version published in 1955.) [Preview with Google Books]

[Brook] Amazon logo Brook, Vincent. Driven to Darkness: Jewish Émigré Directors and the Rise of Film Noir. Rutgers University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780813546308. [Preview with Google Books]

[S&W] Amazon logo Silver, Alain, and Elizabeth Ward, eds. Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style. 3rd ed. Overlook Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780879514792. (Note: This edition has been superseded by a new version published in 2010: Amazon logo Silver, Alian, Elizabeth Ward, James Ursini, et al. The Film Noir Encyclopedia. Overlook Press, 2010. ISBN: 9781590201442. Either version is fine.

[S&U] Amazon logo Silver, Alain, and James Ursini, eds. Film Noir Reader. Limelight Editions, 2004. ISBN: 9780879101978.

[Reader] Amazon logo ———. Film Noir Reader 4: The Crucial Films and Themes. Limelight Editions, 2004. ISBN: 9780879103057.

[Hirsch] Amazon logo Hirsch, Foster. The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir. New ed. Da Capo Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780306810398.

[Robson] Amazon logo Robson, Eddie. Film Noir (Virgin Film). Virgin Books, 2010. ISBN: 9780753510865.

Readings

Sessions marked with L are course lectures; those marked with S are film screenings.

SES # TOPICS READINGS
1 - S Double Indemnity (PDF)
1 - L What is Film Noir? / Our Five Directors / Analyzing Double Indemnity

[S&W] "Double Indemnity"

[S&U] Schrader, Paul. "Notes on Film Noir (1972)."

2 - L Narrative and Visual Complexities in Early Noir / Comparing Our First Two Films

[Hirsch] Chapter 1, "The City at Night," and Chapter 3, "The Cinematic Background: From Expressionism to Neo-Realism."

[Brook] Chapter 4, "The Father of Film Noir: Fritz Lang," and Chapter 5, "Lang in Hollywood."

2 - S The Woman in the Window (PDF)
3 - L Émigré Artists and Expressionist Visual Styles

[S&U] Place, Janey, and Lowell Peterson. "Some Visual Motifs of Film Noir (1974)."

[Hirsch] Chapter 4, "The Crazy Mirror: Noir Stylistics."

3 - S Detour  
4 - L "B" Movies as Noir's Lifeblood; Artists in Exile; Noir Existentialism

[S&U] Porfirio, Robert. "No Way Out: Existential Motifs in the Film Noir (1976)."

[S&U] Erickson, Glenn. "Fate Seeks the Loser: Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour (1945)."

[Brook] Chapter 1 "Introduction," and Chapter 3 "Jews and Expressionism: Performing High and Low."

4 - S The Spiral Staircase  
5 - S

The Killers

Watch: The Set-Up or The Asphalt Jungle on your own

 
6 - S Where the Sidewalk Ends (PDF)

Assigned Noir Films

Classic Noir Films

  • The Asphalt Jungle. John Huston, 1950 (112 minutes.)
  • Detour. Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945 (67 minutes.)
  • Double Indemnity. Billy Wilder, 1944 (107 minutes.)
  • The Killers. Robert Siodmak, 1964 (103 minutes.)
  • The Lady from Shanghai. Welles, 1947 (87 minutes.)
  • Scarlet Street. Fritz Lang, 1945 (103 minutes.)
  • The Set-up. Robert Wise, 1949 (73 minutes.)
  • The Spiral Staircase. Robert Siodmak, 1945 (83 minutes.)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends. Otto Preminger, 1950 (95 minutes.)
  • The Woman in the Window. Fritz Lang, 1944 (107 minutes.)

 

Neo-Noir Films (Choices for Oral Presentations)

  • Body Heat. Lawrence Kasdan, 1981 (113 minutes.)
  • Blood Simple. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 1984 (99 minutes.)
  • Chinatown. Roman Polanski, 1974 (130 minutes.)
  • Collateral. Michael Mann, 2004 (120 minutes.)
  • A History of Violence. David Cronenberg, 2005 (96 minutes.)
  • Minority Report. Steven Spielberg, 2002 (145 minutes.)
  • Reservoir Dogs. Quentin Tarantino, 1992 (99 minutes.)
  • Zodiac. David Fincher, 2007 (157 minutes.)