The noir style /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Silver, Alain, 1947-
Edition:1st ed.
Imprint:Woodstock, N.Y. : Overlook Press, 1999.
Description:248 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Subject:Film noir -- United States -- History and criticism.
Film noir.
United States.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Format: Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:Ursini, James.
ISBN:0879517220 (hardcover)
Notes:Includes index.
Review by Choice Review

Silver and Ursini have both written extensively on film noir--e.g., Film Noir: An Encyclopedia Reference to the American Style, ed. by Silver and Elizabeth Ward (CH, Sep'80); Film Noir Reader, ed. by Silver and Ursini (1997); and much more. ` Both the above tomes remain invaluable for general readers and scholars interested in the hard-boiled detectives, tough dames, mean streets, and seedy gangsters that populated movie classics like The Maltese Falcon (1940), Double Indemnity (1944), The Naked City (1948), and Touch of Evil (1958). The present title is a pictorial complement to the books mentioned above. Each of its undeniably sumptuous production stills and frame enlargements from classic noirs--arranged under such classifications as "Naked Noir," "Night and the City," "Deadly Is the Female," and "Neo-Noir"--is accompanied by a spare paragraph or two of text that "reads" each image in terms of specific semiotics, social contexts, and narrative implications. Also briefly referenced are several key noirish practitioners from filmic and nonfilmic contexts, notably cinematographer John Alton, painters Reginald Marsh and Edward Hopper, and street tabloid photographer "Weegee" (Arthur H. Felig). This lush book will supplement scholarly studies in large film collections, but it is recommended primarily for general readers and for lower-division undergraduates familiarizing themselves with the genre. J. C. Tibbetts; University of Kansas

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

When film aficionados speak of film noir, they usually refer to the look and attitude of certain films. As critics have found, such films do not form a genre; at best, they suggest a movement. About noir style, Silver and Ursini write: ". . . those filmmakers who created it understood . . . what they were creating and that resulted in a unique body of films." Perhaps. Billy Wilder, when recently queried about the alleged noir aspects of Double Indemnity by Cameron Crowe (Conversations with Wilder [BKL N 1 99]), claimed to have been oblivious to such inspiration and that he was going for a "news reel" look. Whatever Wilder meant, Silver and Ursini have great stills and inspired criticism of a few images from Wilder's Double Indemnity. Their book consists entirely of noir stills accompanied by text in captions. The title page carries a compelling image of the hulking Detective Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles) from Touch of Evil, and from that point one is plunged into the world of noir--outsized secrets, impending violence, unholy excitement, and deep blacks and glaring whites. In addition to all that sexiness, Silver and Ursini discuss noir motifs, such as bars, driving at night, and sexual debasement. Good stuff. --Bonnie Smothers

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Choice Review

Review by Booklist Review