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French Poetic Realism and American Noir: “It’s always too late’”

Rebecca Martin

Abstract


This paper investigates the connections between French Poetic Realism of the 1930s and American film noir and argues that their significance has been understated. The goals of this study are three-fold. It begins with an examination of the treatment of Poetic Realism in the most significant critical views of the genealogy of American film noir; then several films are analyzed in some detail to reinforce the connections and contrasts in specific French and American films. The paper concludes with several proposals about why the role of Poetic Realism has been so often presented as relatively insignificant.


Keywords


film noir, French Poetic Realism, réalisme poétique, Jean Renoir, Marcel Carné, Fritz Lang, Jean Gabin, German Expressionism, émigré filmmakers, Post-World War II film—USA

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References


References

Andrew, Dudley. 1995. Mists of Regret: Culture and Sensibility in Classic French Film. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Borde, Raymond and Etienne Chaumeton. 2002 (1955). A Panorama of American Film Noir 1941-1953. Trans. by Paul Hammond. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books.

Schrader, Paul. (1972) 2000. “Notes on Film Noir.” In Film Noir Reader. 6th ed. Ed. by Alain Silver and James Ursini, 52-63. New York: Limelight Editions.

Vincendeau, Ginette. 1993. “Noir Is Also a French Word: The French Antecedents of Film Noir.” The Book of Film Noir, edited by Ian Cameron, 49-58. New York: Continuum.

---. 2007. “French Film Noir.” In European Film Noir. Ed. by Andrew Spicer, 23-54. New York: Manchester University Press.

Williams, Alan. 1992. Republic of Images: A History of French Filmmaking. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Filmography

La Bête Humaine. (1938) 2006. Directed by Jean Renoir. Criterion. Culver City, CA: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. DVD.

La Chienne. (1931) 2016. Directed by Jean Renoir. Criterion. Culver City, CA: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. DVD.

Le Crime de M. Lange. (1936) 2010. Directed by Jean Renoir. Baker City, OR: Nostalgia Family Video. DVD.

Hôtel du nord. (1938) 2006. Directed by Marcel Carné. London: Soda Pictures. DVD.

Human Desire. (1954) 2010. Directed by Fritz Lang. Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics II. Culver City, CA: Sony Pictures. DVD.

In a Lonely Place. (1950) 2003. Directed by Nicholas Ray. Culver City, CA: Columbia Pictures. DVD.

Le Jour se lève. (1939) 2009. Directed by Marcel Carné. Criterion/Janus Films/Essential Art House. Culver City, CA: Sony Home Entertainment. DVD.

The Long Night. (1947) 2000. Directed by Anatole Litvak. New York: Kino Video. DVD.

La Nuit du carrefour. (1932) 2011. Directed by Jean Renoir. New York : Video Dimensions. DVD.

Out of the Past. (1947) 2004. Directed by Jacques Tourneur. Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video. DVD.

Pépé le Moko. (1937) 2003. Directed by Julien Duvivier. Criterion. Culver City, CA: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. DVD.

Port of Shadows [Le Quai des brumes]. (1938) 2004. Directed by Marcel Carné. Criterion. Culver City, CA: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. DVD.

Scarlet Street. (1945) 2006. Directed by Fritz Lang. Portland, OR: Allegro Corp. DVD.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ling-2017-002-mart



 


Linguæ & - Rivista di lingue e culture moderne
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Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione, Studi Umanistici e Internazionali: Storia, Culture, Lingue, Letterature, Arti, Media
Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo


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