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
Germanneo-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
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.
Third Reich and the need to engage with
the social realities of a divided Germany.
Paul Cooke’s chapter on Germanneo-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