Street with No Name
A History of the Classic American Film Noir
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Flourishing in the United States during the 1940s and 50s, the bleak, violent genre of filmmaking known as film noir reflected the attitudes of writers and auteur directors influenced by the events of the turbulent mid-twentieth century. Films such as Force of Evil, Night and the City, Double Indemnity, Laura, The Big Heat, The Killers, Kiss Me Deadly and, more recently, Chinatown and The Grifters are indelibly American. Yet the sources of this genre were found in Germany and France and imported to Hollywood by emigré filmmakers, who developed them and allowed a vibrant genre to flourish.
Andrew Dickos's Street with No Name traces the film noir genre back to its roots in German Expressionist cinema and the French cinema of the interwar years. Dickos describes the development of the film noir in America from 1941 through the 1970s and examines how this development expresses a modern cinema. Dickos examines notable directors such as Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, John Huston, Nicholas Ray, Robert Aldrich, Samuel Fuller, Otto Preminger, Robert Siodmak, Abraham Polonsky, Jules Dassin, Anthony Mann and others. He also charts the genre's influence on such celebrated postwar French filmmakers as Jean-Pierre Melville, François Truffaut, and Jean-Luc Godard. Addressing the aesthetic, cultural, political, and social concerns depicted in the genre, Street with No Name demonstrates how the film noir generates a highly expressive, raw, and violent mood as it exposes the ambiguities of modern postwar society.
""Dickos spins a good web for film noir addicts."-- Culture Vulture" --
""Traces classic American film noir back to its antecedents in German Expressionism and the Golden Age of French Cinema in the 1930s, which have not been given their due."--Gene D. Phillips, author of Creatures of Darkness: Raymond Chander, Detective Fiction, and Film Noir" --
""Dickos's work skillfully plumbs this 'dark cinema,' a style that is recognized in such recent productions as The Usual Suspects (1995) and Memento (2001) but whose heyday resides between The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Touch of Evil (1958)."-- Library Journal" --
""It is refreshing to see a book that shifts away from specific textual analysis and criticism to an historical focus. In so doing it not only reminds us of the vastness of the noir canon, but also the marginalization of many overlooked texts and directors."-- Literature/Film Quarterly" --
""A concrete, concise study of noir against an impressive historical vista that brings to light the complex relation between alienation and obsession that makes up these films."-- Rain Taxi Review" --
""Definitely stands among the better studies of the film genre."-- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society" --
""The best book available on the genre of movies set in the dark, wet streets of the urban U.S."-- Choice" --
""El autor analiza con acierto las caracteristícas del estilo y estructuras del 'cine negro.' La influencia del 'cine negro' sigue presente en el cine actual, por eso la lectura de un libro como Street with No Name resulta muy ú til."-- Todo Sobre Cine" --
""Shrewdly analyzes those movies."-- Wall Street Journal" --