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Paul Cooke

use of neo-noir, before turning to a small number of paradigmatic neonoir films from recent years. As we shall see, many of the films discussed here stretch Jameson’s definitions. Nevertheless, I argue that, with regard to German neo-noir at least, his parody–pastiche dichotomy remains productive, while at the same time suggesting that in pastiche we can still find elements of critical engagement. In particular, I explore

in European film noir
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Editor: Andrew Spicer

This book aims to provide an overview of the history and development of film noir and neo-noir in five major European cinemas, France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy, written by leading authorities in their respective fields. It contains a bibliography and extensive filmography. The book describes the distinctiveness of film noir or neo-noir within its respective national cinema at particular moments, but also discusses its interaction with American film noir and neo-noir. It commences with a reflection on the significant similarities and differences that emerge in these accounts of the various European film noirs, and on the nature of this dialogue, which suggests the need to understand film noir as a transnational cultural phenomenon. The problems of defining film noir and the reasons why it has almost always been regarded solely as an American form are discussed. Because British film noir had never received critical recognition, Andrew Spicer argues that British neo-noir had to reinvent itself anew, with little, if any, explicit continuity with its predecessors. The book also explores the changes in the French polar after 1968: the paranoia of the political thriller and the violence of the postmodern and naturalistic thriller. That new noir sensibility is different enough, and dark enough, from what preceded it, for us to call it 'hyper-noir'. British neo-noirs are highly intertextual and allusive, both thematically and visually. The book also discusses German neo-noir, Spanish film noir and neo-noir, and the Italian film noir.

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Andrew Spicer

Third Reich and the need to engage with the social realities of a divided Germany. Paul Cooke’s chapter on German neo-noir delineates two periods when there was a clearly identifiable development: in the New German Cinema of the 1970s and 1980s and in the more commodified, genre-based cinema of the 1990s. As Cooke argues, the relationship of the new German cinema directors to American noir was highly complex. Not only was it

in European film noir