Date: 03 May 2000

I would second Juri's recommendation of the Shrader article. I suspect it is the pioneering piece in Film Noir studies, originally appearing in Film Comment 8:1 (Spring 1972), and reprinted in shortened form in Film Genre Reader and Film Genre Reader II, which also includes a nice piece by John Cawelti on Chinatown and articles on American Gangster & Black Gangster films. Haven't checked recently, but it was still available a couple of years ago.

Probably both the stimulating and irritating thing about Shrader is his tendency to list categories and characteristics: 7 stylistic features of noir, 3 phases, 4 influences. Interesting perhaps, from the creator of Taxi Driver, is his nomination of the noir masterpiece, Kiss Me Deadly in 1955. "Its time delay gives it a sense of detachment and thoroughgoing seediness--it stands at the end of a long sleazy tradition." Now there's a man who knows why we all love this stuff.

Bill Hagen

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