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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

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Karl Marx

SCIENCE & SOCIETY SPECIAL 75th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

Science & Society
Special 75th Anniversary Celebration
Friday, October 14, 7:30 p.m.

As you might know, Vol. 76, No. 1 of *Science & Society* is in production, which means that we have completed 75 years — three quarters of a century! — of continuous publication of first-order research in Marxist theory, philosophy and historical/cultural studies.  This is a remarkable achievement, and one that is unique, worldwide.

We are celebrating (as well we should!) by holding a special 75th Anniversary Party, on *Friday, October 14*, at the Brecht Forum in New York City.   The Brecht Forum is at West Street between Bank and Bethune, just south of 14th Street on the far west side of Manhattan.  You will find a map and other directions at http://www.brechtforum.org.  Join us at 7:30; program begins at 8.

Planning is just getting under way.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Gerald Horne, a long-time member of our Editorial Board and a prolific social and cultural historian.  Many recent authors, from several continents, will be present, and will be introduced and honored for their contributions.  We have several musical and artistic components lined up; it is too soon to announce them, but be assured that this will be a memorable event — politically, intellectually, culturally . . . and gastronomically!

As the capitalist economic and social crisis deepens across the globe, it is important to mark our victories and achievements.  S&S is just one small one, but you have played a part in it, and the cumulative impact of that is, well, incalculable.  So let’s celebrate!

In solidarity,
The *Science & Society* Editorial Board

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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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.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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