cover of book

Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia
by Wheeler Winston Dixon
Rutgers University Press, 2009
Paper: 978-0-8135-4521-9 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-4520-2 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-6844-7
Library of Congress Classification PN1995.9.F54D59 2009
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.43655


Noir. A shadow looms. The blow, a sharp surprise. Waking and sleeping, the fear is with us and cannot be contained. Paranoia.

Wheeler Winston Dixon's comprehensive work engages readers in an overview of noir and fatalist film from the mid-twentieth century to the present, ending with a discussion of television, the Internet, and dominant commercial cinema. Beginning with the 1940s classics, Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia moves to the "Red Scare" and other ominous expressions of the 1950s that contradicted an American split-level dream of safety and security. The dark cinema of the 1960s hosted films that reflected the tensions of a society facing a new and, to some, menacing era of social expression. From smaller studio work to the vibrating pulse of today's "click and kill" video games, Dixon boldly addresses the noir artistry that keeps audiences in an ever-consumptive stupor.

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