Classic French Noir : Gender and the Cinema of Fatal Desire Hardback
Part of the International Library of the Moving Image series
French film noir has long been seen as a phenomenon distinct from its Hollywood counterpart.
This book - an innovative departure from conventional noir scholarship - now adopts a biocultural approach to exploring the French genre through the years 1941-1959.
Chapters reveal noir as a product of the social and cultural factors at play in occupied, liberated and post-war France: marked by malaise at military defeat, Nazi collaboration and the impact of industrialisation.
Furthermore, the book uncovers the evolutionary mechanisms of sexuality and reproduction beneath the national context that drive gendered behaviour on screen. During this period, for example, the emerging urgent demand for population growth, coupled with the severe shortage of eligible males, rendered the mating game particularly perilous for traditional women beginning to enter the workplace.
This explains the cynical yet seductive behaviour of the femme fatale.
Deborah Walker-Morrison focuses on the dangerous, often deadly, desires of an array of male and female character-types: moving past the celebrated, fatal `femme' to tragic heroines, psychopathic narcissists, fatal `hommes' and gangster anti-heroes.
The book re-examines productions by directors such as Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jacques Becker and Jules Dassin and pulls together strands of sociological, biological, psychological and evolutionary science to create an illuminating study of the cut-throat world of noir.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 272 pages, 30 black and white integrated illustrations
- Publisher: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd.
- Publication Date: 18/10/2018
- Category: Film theory & criticism
- ISBN: 9781784539719