Mark T. Conard - The Philosophy of Neo-Noir (the Philosophy of Popular Culture)

ISBN: 0813124220

Category: Technical

Tag: Science/Engineering


Posted on 2009-03-04. By anonymous.

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Mark T. Conard - The Philosophy of Neo-Noir
(the Philosophy of Popular Culture)
University Press of Kentucky | ISBN: 0813124220 | 05/01/2007 | English | 222 pages | PDF | 1.5 MB

Film noir--a cycle of American films from the 1940s and '50s--is characterized not only by a constant opposition of light and shadow and a disruptive compositional balance of frames and scenes, but also by dark, foreboding characters and plots and an overriding sense of alienation and moral ambiguity. Noir films reflect the sense of loss, fragmentation, and nihilism at the heart of the human condition in the twentieth century.

Although the classic film noir period ended in the late 1950s, its impact on more films has been profound. While typically not black and white, these new films incorporate the noir sensibility of alienation, pessimism, moral ambivalence, and disorientation. This sensibility is obvious in films such as Blade Runner, Reservoir Dogs, Chinatown, and Memento. Until now, little scholarly attention has been paid to the unique philosophical conventions of the widely popular neo-noir genre.

In The Philosophy of Neo-Noir, editor Mark T. Conard and other contributors explore the philosophical foundations of neo-noir, using the films to discuss and explain traditional philosophical ideas as well. The themes and topics covered include justice and moral corruption; problems of memory and identity; human nature, space, time, and subjectivity; crime and punishment; pain and redemption; and spiritual transcendence. Conard argues that neo-noir films have benefited as censorship has relaxed, giving current filmmakers a rich noir tradition from which to draw.

Reviews
One of the most intriguing books I have read
As the title suggests, this book covers the philosophical background behind films defined as neo-noir. Surprisingly this contains a large number of films most people wouldn't readily identity as Film Noir. Blade Runner, Memento, A Simple Plan and the works of Quentin Tarantino and the Cohen Brothers are amongst some of the movies that are analysed in depth. Many other movies are touched upon including Fight Club, Minority Report, The Bourne Identity and many others. The essays in this book give new insight into these movies and are easily readable by those without any background in philosophy. I would highly recommend it.

About the Author
Mark T. Conard, assistant professor of philosophy at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, is the editor or coeditor of many books, including The Philosophy of Film Noir and The Simpsons and Philosophy.


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