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Notebook Primer: Film Noir

Notebook Primer: Film Noir

The Notebook Primer introduces readers to some of the most important figures, films, genres, and movements in film history. Above: Detour “The Americans made [film noir] and then the French invented it.”—Marc VernetIn a world of uncertainty, where the lines between good and bad are routinely blurred and peril lurks behind every hesitant corner, film noir had—and still has—a spellbinding way of cutting through the banalities of ordinary existence. Noir tarnishes the superficial sheen of domestic stability, peace and prosperity, and the naïve, sanguine euphoria of one’s best-laid plans. It revels in a realm of desperation, despair, and dread, leading audiences down long, lonely streets and engineering an entertaining and engaging descent into humanity’s dark side. While there remains some question about what defines film noir, and even more debate concerning whether or not the form is a genre or a movement (or something of the two

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