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Eisenstein

Eisenstein

TALES OF THE 1%: NOIR AND CAPITALISM

CLASS, CRIME & INTERNATIONAL FILM NOIR

 

Dennis Broe with Steven Wishnia
Wednesday, April 30, 7:30 pm

Brecht Forum @ The Commons, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn 11217

http://brechtforum.org/civicrm/event/info?id=12681&reset=1

 

Brecht Forum: http://brechtforum.org/

 

In the decade between the Popular Front and the Communist Purge (1938-48), lower budget, seedy crime films not only in the US, but also in Europe and Asia, collectively called film noir, were a prominent way that film artists critiqued the new international reign of corporate capital. That critique has continued today where regional formations of the style (Nordic, Asian and Mediterranean Noir) have nourished and kept alive noir’s biting critique of the accumulation of capital where lives are smashed, dreams are brutally broken, and those left standing endure with bitterness and confusion while those who hide behind the laws and accumulate bigger piles of loot.

Dennis and Steven will speak of the body of work in film, fiction and other cultural works about what noir is, and how it came about and new directions in lm and literary noir today.

Dennis Broe is a professor of media arts at Long Island University. His previous book, Film Noir, American Workers and Post-War Hollywood was a Choice Outstanding Academic Book. He has written widely on political economy, movie studio history and the Western in Cinema Journal, Jump Cut, Situations and other journals. He is also a film critic on Pacifica Radio. His latest book from Palgrave/Macmillan is Class, Crime & International Noir: Globalizing America’s Dark Art, which will be published on May 8.

Steven Wishnia is the author of the novel When the Drumming Stops (Manic D Press, 2012), the short-story collection Exit 25 Utopia, and The Cannabis Companion, and contributed to Long Island Noir. A journalist specializing in housing, labor, and drug issues, he co-edited Imagine: Living in a Socialist U.S.A. He also played bass in the 1980s punk band False Prophets and artist Mac McGill’s multimedia show.

Economics of the 1%

Economics of the 1%

 

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Eisenstein

SITUATIONS: NEW SPECIAL ISSUE ON GLOBAL CINEMA

Dear friends and colleagues:

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new special issue of Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination entitled “Global Cinema: Cinéma Engagé or Cinéma Commericiale?”  This special issue contains ten essays on modern international films and cinemas, including those of Iran, Nigeria, Mexico, Romania, France, China, Argentina, and India as well as on contemporary film festivals and on films documenting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The special issue is available and freely accessible online at:   http://ojs.gc.cuny.edu/index.php/situations/issue/view/58

The issue has a global reach in its coverage of countries and regions of the world ranging from Hollywood’s own “Global Gaze,” to a placement of Nigerian Cinema as the equal of Africa’s modernist cinema, to Venezuela’s difficult negotiation of a Bolivarian cinema in a neoliberal context, to a questioning of the radical othering of Eastern European cinema whose concerns now seem much closer to those of the West, and, finally, to a tracing of a complex multiperspectival fashioning of the image of the Chinese peasantry in a moment when the distinction between city and country are rapidly fading.  The global reach of the issue extends as well to the range of theoretical positions used to examine contemporary global cinema, be it:  structural-materialist aspects of the questioning of the Israeli-Palestinian problematic; the integration of economic and aesthetic methodologies in a post-Adornian examination of the Cannes Film Festival; feminist and subaltern theory utilized to critique the patriarchal aspects of what is sometimes viewed as India’s most politically progressive cinema; a rereading and deconstruction of French radical workerist post-1968 cinema; and a linking of feminist and anti-colonial perspectives to highlight the way that in Iran Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten spotlights Muslim women’s emancipation. 

We hope you will peruse the essays, and look forward to your comments and critique.

Regards
Dennis Broe (Long Island University)
Terri Ginsberg (International Council for Middle East Studies)
Co-editors, Situations special issue on Global Cinema

 

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Bette Davis

FILM NOIR, AMAERICAN WORKERS, AND POSTWAR HOLLYWOOD

AT HARVARD
Discussion/Signing with Dr. Dennis Broe

Monday, Nov 7 @ 7:00 pm
The Harvard Coop
1400 Massachusetts Ave

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title

“Broe has broken new ground in the interpretation of cinema itself. With this book film noir has found its most astute and informed critic.” – Gerald Horne, author of Class Struggle in Hollywood 1930-50 and The Final Victim of the Blacklist: John Howard Lawson, Dean of the Hollywood Ten

This award-winning book argues for the central importance of class in the creation of film noir and demonstrates how the form itself came to fruition during one of the most active periods of working-class agitation and middle-class antagonism towards corporate power in American history. Broe expands his analysis of how the classical period of film noir is connected to labor history to include an investigation first of the social and cinematic roots of the Cold War and then, in a coda, of the relationship of noir to the ethos and culture of terrorism in post 9/11 America. This study of a time when labor displayed its power and found its cinematic equivalent on the Hollywood screen is more relevant than ever as organized labor joins the Occupy Movement in fighting for the rights of the 99%.

“Broe’s theory forces the reader to review film noir in a new and provocative light” –Book News

 

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Noir

Noir

FILM NOIR, AMERICAM WORKERS AND POSTWAR HOLLYWOOD

 

New Noir Book:

“Busts This Town Wide Open”: Film Noir, American Workers and Postwar Hollywood

Dennis Broe, University of Florida Press

Order now for a 40% Discount with Code Listed Below

Ever since French critics began using the term film noir in the mid-1940s, a clear definition of the genre has remained elusive. Broe’s interdisciplinary examination is a cogent argument for the centrality of class in the creation of film noir, demonstrating how the form itself came to fruition during one of the most active periods of working-class agitation and middle-class antagonism in American history.

In the 1940s, both radicalized union members and protagonists of noir films were hunted and pursued by the law. The book details how, after World War II, members of the labor movement who waged a series of strikes that paralyzed American industry, including Hollywood, were forced to use extralegal means because of pressure applied by new legislation such as the Taft-Hartley Act. In the same way the film noir protagonist moves further and further outside the law in this period until the films become a lament for a change hoped for but not achieved. The book then marks the sharp distinction between noir and the police procedural where the working class cop, now shorn of his or her radical sympathies, becomes the subject of the film.

A coda describes noir under Reagan and Bush (“A Thousand Points of Dark”) and post-9/11 noir which alternately resists and validates the replaying of the Cold War as the War on Terror.

What the Critics are saying:

‘[This is] an intriguing study of U.S. film noir as a left-wing cultural formation. Broe makes an informative and convincing case for the repressed, often overlooked working class determinants of early noir, and his discussion of individual films is consistently insightful. This is an important addition to the literature on the subject.’ James Naremore, author of More Than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts

‘With keen insight and a deep appreciation of the politics of film noir, Broe has broken new ground in the interpretation of cinema itself. With this book film noir has found its most astute and informed critic.’ Gerald Horne, author of Class Struggle in Hollywood, 1930-50

‘Broe puts the red back in the black. His book contours amidst the shadows of film noir those battles and tussles of the laboring classes that have too often been written out of film history, as out of the authorized narrative of U.S. history. Through wonderfully synthetic overviews and deft extended readings, a panoply of films is shown to chart in devious and overt ways the ups and down of union power and working class perspectives.’ Esther Leslie, author of Walter Benjamin and Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant-Garde

‘[The book is] a bracing alternative history of how noir represented the roiling state of American culture in the 1940s … His categorization scheme will carry great weight in all future discussion of noir’s thematic landscape.’ Donald Malcolm, Noir City Sentinel

For a special 40% discount, until October 1, 2009, call toll free 800-226-3822, or order online at: http://upf.com/book.asp?id=BROEXS07 with discount code NOIR9.

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