Film Noir Prototypes: Origins of the Movement

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This large, trade paperback volume is beautifully produced and consists of twenty-one essays by fourteen contributors, all scholars of various aspects of the film art. Film Noir Prototypes was assembled by two editors, Alain Silver and James Ursini. The average reader would have little or no interest reading this extensive volume; serious movie buffs and those in the movie arts, particularly with interest with the film-noir movement (originating from German Expressionism from 1910s and 1920s), may want to add this book into their reference library collections. Yet it’s not an easy reading. Most contributors use difficult, academic language, movie jargon, and long, involved sentences not unlike the writings of the early period of film noir. The introduction is where readers expect a definition of what film noir is—but it’s regrettably missing. The hundreds of black-and-white illustrations range from small insets to double-spreads, most in between. Each essayist selected scenes (or sketches or posters) from movies they inserted to illustrate their arguments or explanations of their selected topics. Many essays end with extensive list of notes and references. The book ends with long bios of the contributors.

Reviewed By:

Author Alain Silver, Editor • James Ursini, Editor
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Applause Theatre & Cinema Books
Publish Date 2018-May-01
ISBN 9781495092749 Buy this Book
Issue September 2018
Category Art, Architecture & Photography


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