British neo-noir
in European film noir
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British neo-noirs are highly intertextual and allusive, both thematically and visually. They have a degree of visibility and recognition - even if they are often reviewed dismissively - because they are produced by filmmakers conscious of the 'tradition' of film noir. Get Carter, a highly representative British neo-noir because of its combination of indebtedness to American gangster films and British social realism, has itself become a powerful model, acting as a cultural intermediary between contemporary British filmmakers and American noir. Carter's investigations reveal how civic corruption, gambling, violence and sleazy sex are intermingled in a predatory noir world. Empire State's critical conflation of Thatcherism and the Americanisation of British culture was explored in a more extended form in Stormy Monday. Shooters replaces Bird's overtly political agenda with the fatalistic existentialism more characteristic of the third phase of neo-noir, and the film's sense of anarchy and social breakdown is stronger.

Editor: Andrew Spicer

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