There is no such thing as Spanish film noir. At least there is none to speak of until after the death of General Franco in 1975. 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. How could there have been moral ambiguity in a society in which education and entertainment were dominated by rigid Catholic
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.
used as a critical instrument, especially for former East German filmmakers anxious to explore the inequalities of the reunification, able to give marginal figures a voice and deal with the failures of integration. As Rob Stone argues in his chapter on Spanish film noir, a cine negro could not develop in a country that was a predominantly rural, repressive, highly patriarchal, fascist dictatorship, underpinned by dogmatic
novela negra , even though the latter supplied the former with some of its plots (from authors such as Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, Juan Madrid and Andreu Martín). The overwhelming association of noir with the USA, the dominance of American films at the box office, perennial funding difficulties for the Spanish film industry and declining audiences for Spanish films (noir or otherwise), have not helped. Both film noir and the