In Lonely Places
Film Noir Beyond the City
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About the Book
Although film noir is traditionally associated with the mean streets of the Dark City, this volume explores the genre from a new angle, focusing on non-urban settings. Through detailed readings of more than 100 films set in suburbs, small towns, on the road, in the desert, borderlands and the vast, empty West, the author investigates the alienation expressed by film noir, pinpointing its motivation in the conflict between desires for escape, autonomy and freedom—and fears of loneliness, exile and dissolution.
Through such films as Out of the Past, They Live by Night and A Touch of Evil, this critical study examines how film noir reflected radical changes in the physical and social landscapes of postwar America, defining the genre’s contribution to the eternal debate between the values of individualism and community.
About the Author(s)
Imogen Sara Smith
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: 42 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
Table of Contents
1. Imaginary Prisons: Noir and the City 19
2. In Exile at Home: Noir Between Two Worlds 34
3. Maximum Security: Domestic Noir 57
4. The Tyranny of Neighbors: Small- Town Noir 83
5. Blind Highways: Noir on the Road 105
6. Mirage of Safety: Noir on the Mexican Border 135
7. Lone and Level Sands: Desert Noir 159
8. Past Sunset: Noir Westerns 178
9. Private Traps: Noir in the Mind 214
Selected Bibliography 241
Book Reviews & Awards
“The author masterfully sheds light on the ‘dark passages’ that lead away from the city into the woods, the wilderness and the unconscious of a changing American landscape of the community and of the mind.”—Pop Culture Shelf; “a useful guide”—Reference & Research Book News.