I love film noir, so I was thrilled to find this book on my doorstep for review. The Philosophy of Film Noir, is part of the "Philosophy of Popular Culture" series from the University Press of Kentucky. Edited by Mark T. Conard, it is a collection of essays from noted scholars representing a wide range of viewpoints on the art form known as film noir.
The book discusses both the "classical" period of film noir, using movies such as The Postman Always Rings Twice and The Maltese Falcon to illuminate the ideology behind the dark and seedy road that is pure noir. More recent incarnations of noir, the neo-noir, are also dismantled for assimilation. An entire chapter is dedicated to the neo-noir masterpiece, Pulp Fiction.
Of special interest for fans of film noir is the section entitled, From Sherlock Holmes to The Hard Boiled Detective by Jerold J. Abrams, in which he compares the detective model created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and re-envisioned by Raymond Chandler.
While The Philosophy of Film Noir may seem dry and challenging at times, it does give readers a glimpse beyond the celluloid to the dark soul and meaning behind these popular films.
Armchair Interviews says: A book for lovers of film, especially film noir.