Monday, June 15, 2009

What is Film Noir, Part 2

Point: Film noir is American.

All of the original ten films were American. Indeed, Borde and Chaumeton's definition of a "series" insists that the films be "nationally identifiable." There is no denying that films in the same vein and with a similar style were being produced in other countries, such as France and the U.K., within the "classic" time period, and Borde and Chaumeton recognize and identify some of the French films of interest from this era. But these films from other countries always have a national modifier to distinguish them from the American films universally recognized as film noir. Thus, Borde and Chaumeton talk about "French Film Noir" in a chapter separated from the rest of the book. And George Eastman House will run a series of "British Film Noir" in the Fall, distinguishing them from the "Essential Film Noir" series running in the Winter.

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