RARA-AVIS: Noir and Redemption

From: Nathan Cain ( IndieCrime@gmail.com)
Date: 18 Jan 2008

Fooling around on Amazon, I ran across a new title from Thomas Hibbs, a professor of somethingerother, who also serves as the film critic for the National Review. Now, the National Review often makes me grind my teeth, and Hibbs' work is no exception. I find the premise of his new book, Arts of Darkness: American Noir and the Quest for Redemption, facsinating however.


From the description:

In a striking new interpretation of film noir, Thomas Hibbs mines the philosophy and theology of these dark films to reveal a subtle but profound insistence on the reality of redemption. Properly understood, these tales of spiritual quest assume a new importance amid the nihilism of contemporary popular culture. Repudiating old-fashioned American optimism but never quite succumbing to despair, noir depicts a world of captivating characters who, in the words of Pascal, seek with groans

The first question I have, though, is this interpretation of noir really "new" as the marketing copy suggests, or is this just a new packaging of an old idea?

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