What makes a film ''noir"? A new book highlights the surprising European origins of an iconic American genre
Film noir flourished in the '40s and '50s, but filmmakers have been nostalgic for its images and themes ever since. Clockwise from top left: ''The Big Sleep'' (1946), ''Chinatown'' (1974), ''T-Men'' (1947), ''L.A. Confidential'' (1997), and ''Double Indemnity'' (1944).
FILM NOIR" is notoriously difficult to define. Once you move past the familiar images (trench coats, shadows), stock characters (the femme fatale, the private dick), standard moods (urban malaise, fatalism), and a core group of classic films (John Huston's ''The Maltese Falcon," for example, or Tay Garnett's ''The Postman Always Rings Twice"), there's wide disagreement among critics and scholars about ... (Full article: 1477 words)
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