Philosophy of Neo-Noir

ISBN-10: 081319217X
ISBN-13: 9780813192178
Edition: 2009
Authors: Mark T. Conard
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Description: Film noir is a classic genre characterized by visual elements such as tilted camera angles, skewed scene compositions, and an interplay between darkness and light. Common motifs include crime and punishment, the upheaval of traditional moral values,  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 2/20/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 222
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.924
Language: English

Film noir is a classic genre characterized by visual elements such as tilted camera angles, skewed scene compositions, and an interplay between darkness and light. Common motifs include crime and punishment, the upheaval of traditional moral values, and a pessimistic stance on the meaning of life and on the place of humankind in the universe. Spanning the 1940s and 1950s, the classic film noir era saw the release of many of Hollywood's best-loved studies of shady characters and shadowy underworlds, includingDouble Indemnity,The Big Sleep,Touch of Evil,andThe Maltese Falcon. Neo-noir is a somewhat loosely defined genre of films produced after the classic noir era that display the visual or thematic hallmarks of the noir sensibility. The essays collected inThe Philosophy of Neo-Noirexplore the philosophical implications of neo-noir touchstones such asBlade Runner, Chinatown, Reservoir Dogs, Memento,and the films of the Coen brothers. Through the lens of philosophy, Mark T. Conard and the contributors examine previously obscure layers of meaning in these challenging films. The contributors also consider these neo-noir films as a means of addressing philosophical questions about guilt, redemption, the essence of human nature, and problems of knowledge, memory and identity. In the neo-noir universe, the lines between right and wrong and good and evil are blurred, and the detective and the criminal frequently mirror each other's most debilitating personality traits. The neo-noir detectivemore antihero than herois frequently a morally compromised and spiritually shaken individual whose pursuit of a criminal masks the search for lost or unattainable aspects of the self. Conard argues that the films discussed inThe Philosophy of Neo-Noirconvey ambiguity, disillusionment, and disorientation more effectively than even the most iconic films of the classic noir era. Able to self-consciously draw upon noir conventions and simultaneously subvert them, neo-noir directors push beyond the earlier genre's limitations and open new paths of cinematic and philosophical exploration.

Mark T. Conard is assistant professor of philosophy at Marymount College. He is the series editor of The Philosophy of Popular Culture series and the editor of numerous books, including "The Philosophy of Film Noir," "The Philosophy of Neo-Noir," and "The Philosophy of Martin Scorsese,"

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Subjectivity, Knowledge, and Human Nature in Neo-Noir
Space, Time, and Subjectivity in Neo-Noir Cinema
Blade Runner and Sartre: The Boundaries of Humanity
John Locke, Personal Identity, and Memento
Problems of Memory and Identity in Neo-Noir's Existentialist Antihero
Justice, Guilt, and Redemption: Morality in Neo-Noir
The Murder of Moral Idealism: Kant and the Death of Ian Campbell in The Onion Field
Justice and Moral Corruption in A Simple Plan
"Saint" Sydney: Atonement and Moral Inversion in Hard Eight
Reservoir Dogs: Redemption in a Postmodern World
Elements of Neo-Noir
The Dark Sublimity of Chinatown
The Human Comedy Perpetuates Itself: Nihilism and Comedy in Coen Neo-Noir
The New Sincerity of Neo-Noir: The Example of The Man Who Wasn't There<c>R. Barton Palmer</c><f>Palmer, R. Barton</f>
"Anything Is Possible Here": Capitalism, Neo-Noir, and Chinatown
Sunshine Noir: Postmodernism and Miami Vice
Contributors
Index

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