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The film noir collection and the legacy of nineteenth century modernity

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The film noir collection and the legacy of nineteenth century modernity

Read, Robert J (2003) The film noir collection and the legacy of nineteenth century modernity. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Film noir has usually been considered to be an autonomous cinematic movement and many critics have focused upon a variety of issues and concerns contained within the phenomenon. Frequently, scholars and critics have found it necessary to include filmographies, accumulated lists designed to illustrate what qualifies as a film noir. However, these lists have often proved to be inconsistent and capricious. Despite the uncertainty, filmographies continue to be key tools of noir criticism, and along with their accompanying theories, have become part of the film noir collection. In this thesis I will employ the film noir collection, including my own collection of film noir and noir criticism, as the basis for my study. This thesis takes the position that the accumulated films and accompanying critical writings create an encyclopedic body of knowledge which reveals that film noir is not a solitary phenomenon, but rather a cohesive representation of modern American life. By concentrating upon the unifying image of the modern city, the noir collection is bound by its urban representation. Moreover, the image of the modern city as the unifying element of the noir collection presents the opportunity to see film noir as part of the greater breadth of modern urban representation. Therefore, I have opened the film noir collection to the critical writings of Walter Benjamin and like-minded scholars to illustrate the affinities between nineteenth century modernity and film noir. Specifically, I have chosen to focus upon the presence of the flâneur and flâneur-derived urban figures in the modern noir city. This perspective allows film noir to be examined in a new light, not as an independent cinematic movement, but as part of the larger and continuous representation of modern life.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Read, Robert J
Pagination:vii, 151 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Russell, Catherine
ID Code:2299
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:27
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:25
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