The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism

Front Cover
Noir is among the most popular, acclaimed, and critically assessed film styles of all time. The unfortunate consequence is an ever-growing divergence between fans and scholars with regard to goals and methods for appreciating and studying noir. The Maltese Touch of Evil aims to bridge that gap. Based on a series of popular podcasts, this unique and inspired investigation of film noir sets out to examine the case of noir more closely, and in the process reconfigures the critical evidence on noir that has been presented to date.

The Maltese Touch of Evil reproduces and re-sequences nearly 150 still images from 31 great films, laying them out with the authors’ informed and entertaining insights into the significance of each shot. The result is a de facto meta–film noir, a celebration of the genre that shows how these films are themselves “constrained” texts whose carefully calculated visual forms simultaneously generate narrative and critical commentary on that narrative. You will never look at film noir the same way again.
 

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Contents

1 A Void in Film Noir Studies
1
2 One Hundred Thousand Billion Films Noir
11
3 Workshop of Potential Criticism
21
4 Build My Scaffolding High
33
5 Oufinopo
45
Postscript
255
Postliminary 2
262
Selected Filmography
264
Podcastography
277
Notes
279
Further Readings
294
References
296
Index
301
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About the author (2011)

SHANNON SCOTT CLUTE is an independent scholar who works for Turner Classic Movies in Atlanta. RICHARD L. EDWARDS is Lead Instructional Designer in the Integrated Learning Institute at Ball State University.

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