Giallo or noir? Although Italy has hosted festivals of film noir for many years, there have been few critical attempts to define Italian film noir as a genre. The fundamental reason for the Italian difficulty with the concept of noir is undoubtedly the predominance of the word giallo which entered popular vocabulary to denote mystery stories from 1929 when the publisher
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.
guilt and the instabilities of memory and identity. Recognition and discussion of Italian film noir has been trammelled by problems of definition. The word giallo , which entered popular vocabulary from 1929 when the publisher Mondadori brought out detective fiction in yellow covers, has subsumed noir under its extensive ambit. As Mary Wood argues, Italian film noir is characterised by its presence in a wide-range of very