Ann Davies
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Spanish neo-noir
in European film noir
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The ability of Spanish cinema to make convincing noir films, has been overshadowed by the success of Spain's flourishing novela negra, or noir novel, an integral part of the boom in Spanish detective fiction that emerged in the wake of Spain's transition to democracy. Neo-noir also granted Spanish culture an opportunity to explore more positive social and cultural changes. The disenchantment with public institutions apparent in these early neo-noirs gradually became of less interest to filmmakers than the anxieties of the private sphere. As political life stabilised, so tensions about the public sphere, inherently tagged as masculine, eased; and this may have facilitated the greater prominence of women as subject as well as object of noir narrative. The concept of retro noir has a particular resonance within contemporary Spain. Neo-noir helps to bring specifically Spanish realities, often uncomfortable ones, into the mainstream.

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