The Fusion of Science Fiction and Film Noir


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About the Book

This critical study traces the common origins of film noir and science fiction films, identifying the many instances in which the two have merged to form a distinctive subgenre known as Tech-Noir. From the German Expressionist cinema of the late 1920s to the present-day cyberpunk movement, the book examines more than 100 films in which the common noir elements of crime, mystery, surrealism, and human perversity intersect with the high technology of science fiction. The author also details the hybrid subgenre’s considerable influences on contemporary music, fashion, and culture.

About the Author(s)

Paul Meehan is the author of several books on science fiction, film noir and horror films, and a contributor to the Noir City Sentinel, the journal of the Film Noir Foundation and to The Palgrave Handbook of the Vampire. He lives in San Francisco.

Bibliographic Details

Paul Meehan

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 64 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018 [2008]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7235-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0973-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Preface      1

1. Things to Come Seen Through a Scanner Darkly: The World of Tech-Noir      3
2. Metropolis of the Homunculus: The German Silent and Early Sound Period, 1916–1932      19
3. Mad Doctors and Mobsters: American Sci-Fi/Horror Films, 1932–1949      47
4. Atom-Age Noir: Tech-Noir and Film Noir in the Atomic Fifties, 1950–1961      88
5. Eating Soylent Green in Alphaville: Genesis of a Subgenre, 1961–1979      115
6. Blade Runners, Terminators and Neuromancers: Cyberpunk Cinema, 1980–1989      150
7. Masters of the Matrix: The Triumph of Black Tech, 1990–2006      192

Genre Splice: Night and the Mega-City      235
Filmography      239
Chapter Notes      249
Bibliography      251
Index      253

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “an engrossing, exhaustive, and somewhat exhausting ride through decades of film…a beautifully organized discussion of the melding of the two genres”—Scarlet
  • “a straightforward and painstakingly detailed history…Meehan’s enthusiasm for the major films is contagious”—Science Fiction Studies
  • “well written”—Critical Mass