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Ann Davies

– than they had been previously. 1 Francisco María Benavent, on the other hand, perceives noir and thrillers as simple attempts to offer an international product rather than, by implication, films specific to the Spanish context. 2 This lament for a lack of effective Spanish noir pervades Spanish film criticism of the 1980s and 1990s, but such dissatisfaction seems far from justified, since the corpus of Spanish neo-noir is

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

. After Franco’s death in 1975 a Spanish neo-noir became possible and Ann Davies documents its powerful and substantial presence, partly based on the flourishing crime fiction boom of novela negra . However, its development has been impeded by declining audiences and lack of funding that have created an unstable film industry and also by lack of critical recognition and respect. In addition to being able to discuss openly

in European film noir
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La piel que habito
Ana María Sánchez-Arce

’s ideal daughter–wife, part of his attempt to repress his failure to control both women. It is Ledgard who falls for surfaces, not the film as a whole, which, as heir to Spanish neo- noir , is aware that style may be used as a tool to recover lost historical meaning. La piel exposes manipulation of the body politic through a story about manipulation of the human body. Critical debates about Vicente/Vera’s gender and Almodóvar’s use of gender reassignment surgery omit this important though problematic use of the body as proxy for the nation. Just as Ledgard changes

in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar