The crime film and particularly its darker variant, the film noir, has often functioned both as a lament for hoped-for social changes that never happened and as a critique of rapacious capitalism that noir lmmakers depicted as sweeping away all human feelings. e course traces through lectures, films, and discussion the evolution of film noir as a critical force.
We will begin with American noir looking at the immediate postwar period of labor strife (Brute Force), then circles back to noir as an expression of the last days of the French Popular Front (Le Jour se lève). We then look at neorealismo nero as an expression in postwar Italy of another Popular Front defeat (Bitter Rice) and finally we conclude by jumping to the present with a viewing of Chinese cinema as the site of noir’s most political contemporary expression in its marking of the deterioriation of relationships under a pure money economy (Black Coal).
Friday, Feb. 20: Brute Force
Friday, February 27: Le Jour se lève
Friday, March 6: Bitter Rice
Friday, March 13: Black Coal
Join us for thrills, chills, and a tracing of the now almost century old continual presence of this resistant form of film critiquing the imposition of the rule of money by the bourgeoisie and their criminal allies.
Professor Dennis Broe is the author of Film Noir, American Workers and Postwar Hollywood; Class, Crime and International Film Noir: Globalizing America’s Dark Art; Maverick or How the West was Lost; and the upcoming The End of Leisure and the Birth of Binge: Hyperindustrialism and Television Seriality. He is a film and television critic for the Pacica Network and WBAI’s Arts Express Radio and his “World Film Beat” and “Bro on the Global Television Beat” columns can be found at the James Agee Cinema Circle.