Film Noir : Hard-boiled Modernity and the Cultures of Globalization book cover
1st Edition

Film Noir
Hard-boiled Modernity and the Cultures of Globalization

ISBN 9780203869680
Published December 4, 2009 by Routledge
304 Pages

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Book Description

The term "film noir" still conjures images of a uniquely American malaise: hard-boiled detectives, fatal women, and the shadowy hells of urban life. But from its beginnings, film noir has been an international phenomenon, and its stylistic icons have migrated across the complex geo-political terrain of world cinema. This book traces film noir’s emergent connection to European cinema, its movement within a cosmopolitan culture of literary and cinematic translation, and its postwar consolidation in the US, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

The authors examine how film noir crosses national boundaries, speaks to diverse international audiences, and dramatizes local crimes and the crises of local spaces in the face of global phenomena like world-wide depression, war, political occupation, economic and cultural modernization, decolonization, and migration. This fresh study of film noir and global culture also discusses film noir’s heterogeneous style and revises important scholarly debates about this perpetually alluring genre.



Justus Nieland is Associate Professor of English at Michigan State University and the author of Feeling Modern: The Eccentriticies of Public Life (2008).

Jennifer Fay is Associate Professor of English and Director of Film Studies at Michigan State University and is the author of Theaters of Occupation: Hollywood and the Re-education of Postwar Germany (2008).


"Jennifer Fay and Justus Nieland have written an ideal text for students of this fascinating category of films. They've lucidly synthesized recent critical debates and at the same time added an original spin to the topic, viewing noir in the context of internationalism and globalization. Their book deserves a very wide audience." - James Naremore author of More Than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts