Spanish film noir
in European film noir
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During the forty years of the fascist dictatorship film noir was a bête noire, unable to show its face for fear of reprisals on its perpetrators. This chapter argues that, film noir in the Spain of the dictatorship was never more insidious and was never more relevant. Whereas American noir of the 1950s could be said to hold a dark mirror to American society that questioned the fundamental optimism of the American dream, no such pessimism about the Francoist dream was permitted. Imitative policíacas suffered from limited resources and an even more limited understanding, for there was little available film analysis that would define the genre for filmmakers. As Paul Schrader contends, realism was key to the tone and mood for it 'succeeded in breaking film noir away from the domain of high-class melodrama, placing it where it more properly belonged, in the streets with everyday people'.

Editor: Andrew Spicer

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