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Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir

Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir
  1. Author: New Media Program, School of Informatics, IU Indianapolis
  2. Number of episodes: 58
  3. Web site: http://outofthepast.libsyn.com/

Podcast Description:

Each film noir weaves its own yarn of longing, corruption, and fateful decisions. On the first of every month, Clute and Edwards investigate one noir or neo-noir in detail. Following various threads of inquiry, they attempt to unravel the vast canvas of noir.

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Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir

  Name Time Artist/Performer Release Date Description Author Language  
1.Episode 48: In a Lonely Place (with Megan Abbott)00:00:00Clute and Edwards12/25/2008Clute and Edwards welcome guest investigator Megan Abbott , the reigning Dark Dame of Noir. Megan is the author of a superb nonfiction study of hardboiled and noir protagonists entitled THE STREET WAS MINE, and three gut-wrenching throwback crime novels: DIE A LITTLE, THE SONG IS YOU, and QUEENPIN. The first title is scheduled to be released as a United Artists feature film in 2010, with Jessica Biel in the lead role. Megan's choice for this episode is the 1950 Nicholas Ray film IN A LONELY PLACNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
2.Comment Moderation is Turned On00:00:00Clute and Edwards9/6/2008A note to the Out of the Past audience: Due to an increase in spam postings, I have to turn on comment moderation. It means that if you leave a comment on one of our episodes, it will not show up immediately. I have to approve each post. Thanks for your understanding. ~Richard Edwards, co-hostNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
3.Episode 47: Bob Le Flambeur (with Howard Rodman and Mike White)00:00:00Clute and Edwards8/12/2008Howard Rodman and Mike White are this episodeâs guest investigators. Rodman and White discuss Jean-Pierre Melvilleâs great 1956 film, Bob Le Flambeur. Howard Rodman is a screenwriter, novelist and USC film professor. His most recent screen credits include Savage Grace and August. Mike White is the publisher and editors of Cahiers du Cinemart, an obscure and obtuse film magazine from Detroit. Visit Mikeâs website at impossiblefunky.com. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards, of www.New Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
4.Episode 46: Thieves Highway (with Eddie Muller)00:00:00Clute and Edwards6/18/2008Thanks to listener support, Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noiris a featured podcast at iTunes, has generated nearly 200,000 downloads worldwide, and has a per-episode audience of over 4,000. With such a record of success, Clute and Edwards are now able to reach out to a wide range of noir scholars, to use the program as a forum to broaden public discourse on the enduring importance of this distinctively American film style. May's guest is the Czar of Noir, Eddie Muller. Eddie is the FoundeNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
5.Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 3: Cybernoir Panel00:00:004/28/2008Shannon Clute, Seth Harwood, and Richard Edwards presented this Cybernoir panel on April 5th, 2008, as part of the Noircon Conference in Philadelphia. Clute and Edwards kick things off with a discussion of how noir style and pulp publishing models seem to provide the fundamental structuring logics of emerging digital mediaâfrom blogs to podcasts, mashups to video games. Seth Harwood then relates his own experience of podcasting his first novel, JACK WAKES UPâfrom producing the initial audio, toNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
6.Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 3: Wise Guys and Femmes Fatale00:00:004/14/2008Wise guys and femmes fatale form the central focus of these next panel discussions from Noircon 2008. In the first half of the podcast, Clute and Edwards talk with authors George Anastasia and Anthony Bruno. Anastasia and Bruno are two seasoned mob-watchers who uncover life on the mean streets-Philly style. Based on their Noircon panel, Wise Guy Noir, they give us an inside look into the Godfathers and Goodfellas of Philadelphia. In the second half, Clute and Edwards lead a lively roundtable disNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
7.Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 2: Editors and Publishers Tackle Noir00:00:004/13/2008Clute and Edwards discuss the editing and publishing of noir fiction with three members of this Day 2 Noircon panel: Charles Ardai, Stacia Decker, and Michael Langnas. Charles Ardai is the editor and publisher of the Hard Case Crime series. Stacia Decker is an editor who has worked with such writers as Ray Banks, Declan Burke, Allan Guthrie and John McFetridge. Michael Langnas is the editor-in-chief of Murdaland Magazine, a crime-fiction journal put out by Baltimore-based publisher Cortwright McNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
8.Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day 2: George Lippard and Philly Noir00:00:004/12/2008Philadelphia noir is the focus of two panels at Noircon 2008. The first panel presents the historical moment, cultural milieu and writings of the 19th century Philly writer George Lippard. Ed Petit and Robert Polito make a compelling case to consider Lippard an important proto-noir author, an author whose writings look back towards 1798's gothic novel WIELAND and forward towards 20th century hardboiled. The second panel addresses the issue of Philly noir through a discussion among noir and crimeNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
9.Noircon 2008: The Official Podcast Day One00:00:004/4/2008Day One: Opening Night. Noircon 2008 opens at the Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia, PA. Clute and Edwards kick off this special podcast mini-series coverage with short interviews from the opening night reception. They talk with film critic Irv Slifkin, authors Gary Phillips, Seth Harwood, Ken Bruen, âThe Czar of Noirâ Eddie Muller, publisher Dennis McMillan, conference organizer Lou Boxer, and author Duane Swierczynski. We finish with an interview of the first presenter of Noircon, ProfessNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
10.Episode 45: Force of Evil00:00:003/11/2008FORCE OF EVIL shows us that small-time graft is less dangerous than big-time rackets that have the law, the trust of the public, and the appearance of respectability on their side. Ultimately, the crime is the system itself, and the very philosophical underpinnings of capitalism are liable. And while Abraham Polonsky's courage in addressing these themes is remarkable, the degree of craft he exhibits as a rookie director is nothing short of astonishing. With Ira Wolfert, he co-authors a script soNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
11.Episode 44: Brick00:00:002/2/2008Rian Johnson's superlative 2005 debut film BRICK is neither a nostalgic tribute nor a modern reaction to noir style. But due to the conditions surrounding its production, it has more in common with classic noir than most films that play overtly with noir tradition: stiletto-tongued hard-boiled dialogue, razor-sharp editing, on-location shooting, the creative use of ambient sound, and narratively-rich canted angle shots and high-contrast lighting allow BRICK to overcome the pitfalls of a small buNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
12.PREVIEWS:00:00:001/1/2008February 1, 2008: Brick (2005)Clute and Edwards tackle the film most often requested by their listeners, Rian Johnson's 2005 neo-noir masterpiece BRICK. Fans of this film can also listen to Clute and Edwards's August 2006 "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" interview with Johnson at http://btbm.libsyn.com, or by Download
13.Movie Suggestions Wanted00:00:001/1/2008Input from listeners helps Clute and Edwards to select shows for discussion, and to improve the content of their analysis. To leave a comment, click on the "comments" button below this message, or email Clute and Edwards off-line (clute@noircast.net and edwards@noircast.net). New Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
14.Episode 43: They Live By Night00:00:001/1/2008THEY LIVE BY NIGHT is film noir at its best. Edward Anderson's little-known hard-boiled rural bandit novel is made into a screenplay as lean as the post-war dreams of its players. The shifty camera frames every sucker that comes its way, making them false promises then plunging each into a darkness more than night. Rookie director Nicholas Ray mercilessly rolls rising stars Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell in the existential muck, but manages nonetheless to show us the ethereal gold that linesNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
15.Episode 42: The Ice Harvest00:00:0012/2/2007This special episode of OUT OF THE PAST is full of holiday surprises. Clute and Edwards investigate the 2005 neo-noir Christmas comedy THE ICE HARVEST, then speak with Scott Phillips, author of the 2000 hardboiled novel on which the film is based. While the book contains its share of dark humor, it is largely a tale of the moral tipping point in the life of Witchita Mob lawyer Charlie Arglist (played by John Cusack), who discovers his capacity for ruthlessness when backed into a corner. The moviNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
16.Episode 41: The Glass Key and Miller's Crossing00:00:0011/7/2007Stuart Heisler's 1942 film THE GLASS KEY retained the personages and major plot twists of Dashiell Hammett's 1930 novel by the same name, but wiped the grim off the original tale. By cleaning up the characters and their motives, the film missed an opportunity to picture its stellar cast (Dunlevy, Ladd, and Lake) in a noir light. Instead, for much of its running time it looks and feels like the glamour whodunnit pictures, or populist clean-government reform films, of the 1930's. Hammett's novel fNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
17.Episode 40: Gilda00:00:0010/8/2007Rita Hayworth is GILDA. From the flip of her fiery hair to the reprise of her incendiary song, she sizzles the celluloid and burns herself indelibly into our collective consciousness. In fact, her presence so scorches that we are apt to miss the technical artistry of this film. Rudolph MatÃ's superlative cinematography uses banal objects pedagogically, to teach us to read the images: the blinds in Mundson's office make us aware of the fact we're looking, then show us how and where to look; the eNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
18.Episode 39: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang00:00:009/1/2007Shane Black's 2005 KISS KISS BANG BANG is a film of delirious contradictions. It is part comedy, part tragedy, a bawdy pulp parody and a heartfelt hardboiled homage. The mix would be too eclectic if the film didn't constantly signal its awareness that it is doing something that should be impossible. Black's self-conscious screenplay uses the generic traits of hardboiled to examine the status of hardboiled stories and characters today, poking fun at itself all the while. In this vein, it coulNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
19.Episode 38: I Wake Up Screaming00:00:008/3/2007I Wake Up Screaming was produced concurrently with The Maltese Falcon and released shortly after, and thus stands as one of the earliest examples of noir. The Maltese Falcon is the more uniform achievement, successfully coupling a consistent noir visual style with noir themes of disillusionment. But for these very reasons I Wake Up Screaming may be the more important film to scholars of noir. It vacillates between a 1930's-style love story and a war-era tale of existentialist dread, between traNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
20.Episode 37: Body Heat00:00:007/6/2007With its throwback hardboiled script and careful restaging of iconic noir shots, Lawrence Kasdan's 1981 BODY HEAT is a noteworthy neo-noir. However, it is no mere nostalgia piece, but rather a daring updating of the tradition: Kathleen Turner's sizzling portrayal of a femme fatale inspired such diverse 1980's and 1990's classics as FATAL ATTRACTION and BASIC INSTINCT, and Kasdan's intricate plotting may even have served as the model for THE USUAL SUSPECTS. On all these points Clute and Edwards aNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
21.Episode 36: His Kind of Woman00:00:006/13/2007"His Kind Of Woman" makes viewers aware of what they expect from noir by disappointing their expectations. The film moves quickly from the down and out digs of gambler Dan Milner (Mitchum) to a sunbathed beachside resort in Mexico. There, it takes its time setting up a complicated intrigue involving a large ensemble cast. It introduces the sultry Lenore Brent (Russell) as a mysterious dame, only to domesticate her by the end of the film, and gives the character of Mark Cardigan (Price)--a B actoNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
22.Noircast Special 2: Alternative Noir Publications00:00:005/18/2007The "Noircast Special" podcasts allow Clute and Edwards to address topics of interest to listeners of "Out of the Past" and "Behind the Black Mask." This episode features interviews with the creators of three alternative noir publications: Tee Morris, founder of podiobooks (www.podiobooks.com) and author of the fantasy-hardboiled podiobook "Billibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword;" Kevin Burton Smith, creator of the superlative "Thrilling Detective" website and ezine (www.thrillingdeNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
23.Episode 35: Pickup on South Street00:00:005/11/2007Sam Fuller's 1953 "Pickup on South Street" leaves open important questions that Elia Kazan's "On the Waterfront" will feel compelled to answer, and Fuller's film has a more timeless quality as a result. With artful minimalism, Fuller captures the claustrophobic paranoia of the HUAC era. He uses alternating points of view, pitting each character's vision of America against another's, to create narrative tension and an ambiguous moral. The film is a fork-tongued parable--a warning to all in powNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
24.Episode 34: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers00:00:004/1/2007Van Heflin, Barbara Stanwyck, Kirk Douglas and Lizabeth Scott all turn in stellar performances in this 1946 gem. For much of its running time the film lacks many of the visual hallmarks of the noir style, but Robert Rossen's pitch-perfect script, delivered with such subtlety by the fine cast, builds a dark backstory that makes what might have been a standard melodrama into a noir masterpiece: the drama of a few individuals is transformed into a parable of post-war America. Add Edith Head's gorgeNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
25.Episode 33: Hollywoodland00:00:002/27/2007Recently, several Hollywood films, including HOLLYWOODLAND, have revisited traumatic events of the 1940's and 1950's. This new film cycle begs several questions--chief among them, why do the malaise and murder of the postwar years resonate with filmmakers today, and do these films share characteristics that allow us to speak of an emerging film style? Clute and Edwards maintain there are significant differences lurking behind the apparent similarities, and such differences call for more nuancedNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
26.Episode 32: Kiss Me Deadly00:00:001/30/2007The 1955 film "Kiss Me Deadly" makes telling changes to Mickey Spillane's 1952 source novel. What was a story of greed and social corruption becomes an allegory of Cold War hysteria. Plot and character cede the stage to emotion and character type. While earlier films noir portrayed the downfall of a flawed person whose bad decisions had far-reaching social consequences, "Kiss Me Deadly" instead pits simplified personages and storylines against an ecstatically elaborate camera vision and sound deNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
27.Noircast Special 1: Kill Me Like You Mean It00:00:001/22/2007The "Noircast Special" allows Clute and Edwards to address topics of interest to listeners of "Out Of The Past" and "Behind The Black Mask." This inaugural episode features a roundtable discussion with the director, playwright, and lead actors of The Stolen Chair Theatre Company's off-Broadway play "Kill Me Like You Mean It." Inspired by film noir and the theatre of the absurd, the play is an artful mash-up that demonstrates how dark is the heart of absurdist theatre, and how absurd are the convNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
28.Episode 31: Touch of Evil00:00:0012/30/2006Orson Welles's 1958 "Touch of Evil" is considered the last film noir of the classic period. Clute and Edwards investigate why it deserves this designation, arguing that it uses the conventions of noir in such a self-conscious manner that henceforth it will be impossible to tell a straight noir tale. Indeed the film is so self-conscious that it is no more a narrative than it is a demonstration of how to create film narrative. It is considered a great film for this reason, but also because it featNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
29.Episode 30: The Postman Always Rings Twice and The Man Who Wasn't There00:00:0011/29/2006In this double-feature podcast, Clute and Edwards investigate Tay Garnett's 1946 "The Postman Always Rings Twice" and the Coen brothers' 2001 "The Man Who Wasn't There"--considering their merits as films, and as adaptations of the novels of James M. Cain. While Garnett makes noir acceptable mainstream fare, with high production quality and glamorous stars like Lana Turner and John Garfield, his film loses the hauntingly arid psychology of Cain's novel. Conversely, the Coens decide not to adapt aNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
30.Episode 29: Detour00:00:0011/1/2006Edgar G. Ulmer's 1945 film "Detour" is commonly lauded as a B-noir that overcame production limitations with artful minimalism. In this context, instances of obtrusive lighting and camerawork are viewed as minor blemishes--the best quality that could be expected from a poverty row feature. Clute and Edwards argue that the film should be granted a far greater measure of technical mastery, that the so-called flubs purposefully call attention to the very cinematic means used to construct the narratNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
31.Episode 28: The Black Dahlia00:00:0010/2/2006In the murder of Elizabeth Short, novelist James Ellroy found a means to grieve over the rape and murder of his own mother. In the novel THE BLACK DAHLIA Betty is at once a symbol of the post-war era torn apart by its passions, and a symbol of Bucky Bleichert's/James Ellroy's search for meaning. Likewise, but dissimilarly, Betty serves a double function in De Palma's film. She seems to be an embodiment of cinematic history split between classic and post-modern eras, and of De Palma's search to aNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
32.Episode 27: D.O.A.00:00:009/2/2006Did noir die in 1950? As a filmic style, certainly not; many of the most daring visual and narrative experiments of the classic period date from 1951-1958. However, 1950 seems to mark a dramatic transition in what might be called noir philosophy. The strong men of the post-war years, who were victims only of their own errors in judgment, cede the screen to indeterminate men, who fall victim to forces they never grasp. This transition infuses the noir universe with a crueler sense of irony buNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
33.Episode 26: Murder, My Sweet00:00:006/30/2006Dick Powell was cast as Philip Marlowe in the 1945 film "Murder, My Sweet." Was it a stroke of genius to allow a song and dance man to reinvent himself in this role, or the desecration of a literary icon? Clute and Edwards are deeply divided on this issue, but find many topics on which they agree: whether the viewer considers Powell's performance a triumph or a tragedy, it is evident that the tension between the two strong female leads (Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley) is a fundamental driving forceNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
34.Episode 25: He Walked By Night00:00:006/15/2006This film deserves its reputation as an important early police procedural and precursor to the television series "Dragnet," but does not deserve to be viewed reductively--as only that. Anthony Mann's un-credited direction was among his best. He coaxed strong performances out of actors given few lines, and made every shot count. Cinematographer John Alton brought the darker sides of Los Angeles to life, and Alfred DeGaetano made brilliant editing choices to overcome limited sets, a bare-bones scrNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
35.Episode 24: Chinatown00:00:006/1/2006Robert Towne's screenplay for the 1974 film "Chinatown" tells an original story, but a story whose scope, intrigue, characters, pacing, and style owe a great debt to the work of Raymond Chandler. That said, it would be a mistake to view "Chinatown" as a simple nostalgia piece. In this tale of the fundamental--indeed foundational--corruption of Los Angeles, Director Roman Polanski, Writer Towne, and Cinematographer John Alonzo tell a hard-boiled tale in a modern filmic style, and this productivNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
36.Episode 23: On the Waterfront00:00:005/15/2006Elia Kazan might have broken the Hollywood Blacklist. Instead, when HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) asked him to name names, he sang like a canary. His actions ended many careers, and broke the spirit of many Hollywood players. Kazan never apologized; indeed, his career and life from that moment staged a defense of his decision. "On the Waterfront"--which won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director for Kazan, Best Actor for Brando, and Best Actress for Eva Marie Saint--was his mostNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
37.Episode 22: Good Night, and Good Luck00:00:005/1/2006As America intoned the mantra "Communism," fear became its religion and McCarthy its high priest. George Clooney's "Good Night, and Good Luck" investigates Edward R. Murrow's brave act of voicing dissent, at a time when dissent was seen as un-American. The film shows an America living in fear of Communism in the 1950's that is very much like an America living in fear of Terrorism today, and demonstrates why the media--then and now--rarely question controversial pundits and their pronouncementsNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
38.Episode 21: Sunset Blvd.00:00:004/15/2006The most famous texts of any canon are rarely the most typical; rather, they push the limits. The fame of Billy Wilder's 1950 masterwork "Sunset Boulevard" is of this problematic sort. The film plays on all the usual themes of noir: mysterious deaths; a male protagonist doomed by a single bad decision; a femme fatale who twists his hopes to resemble her own, and slowly trims away his universe until she is the sole star guiding his fateful journey. But these themes are absurdly exaggerated. The fNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
39.Episode 20: Reservoir Dogs00:00:004/1/2006Kubrick's "The Killing" weaves the narrative threads of each character's story into the complex yarn of a heist. Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" ties references to numerous films into a dense knot. The pleasure of watching, and difficulty of discussing, Tarantino's work arises from having to pick at, and follow, seemingly infinite threads to their points of origin. Text is henceforth hypertext. As Clute and Edwards follow the many links from Tarantino back to Kubrick, they investigate what's atNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
40.Episode 19: The Killing00:00:003/15/2006Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino both launched their careers by updating the noir tradition. In the first episode of a two-part comparative analysis, Clute and Edwards demonstrate how Kubrick's "The Killing" (1956) and Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" (1992) come more clearly into focus when each is viewed through the lens of the other. "The Killing" might be considered a masterwork on its own merits. Kubrick's careful composition of every shot demonstrates his deep sympathy for noir traditiNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
41.Episode 18: The Set-Up00:00:002/26/2006As crisp and fluid as a boxer's footwork, Robert Wise's editing turns a lightweight script into the heavy-hitting drama "The Set Up." Art Cohn's screenplay is a very Hollywood adaptation of a 1928 poem by Joseph Moncure March. The poem is a shot to the gut--a powerful meditation on race that shows a black American is never in for a fair fight. The 1949 screenplay is the flyweight story of a down and out white fighter who thinks he's one punch away from glory. But Robert Wise and Robert RyanNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
42.Episode 17: Gun Crazy00:00:002/12/2006What good is it to be a sharpshooter when there's no war on? If you want to understand the sense of impotence and angst that defined the postwar generation, "Gun Crazy" is a case study. With a deft and almost whimsical touch, Joseph Lewis sketches a country in transition--uncertain whether to gratify its thirst for heroism or its hunger for things, big things, lots of things. The film also signals a dramatic transition in filmmaking. In a giant stride, it seems to have one foot in the silentNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
43.Episode 16: The Grifters00:00:001/29/2006This is perhaps the most noir of all neo-noirs. Never has 1990 Los Angeles looked and sounded so much like 1950 Los Angeles. While Stephen Frears sets Jim Thompson's source novel at the time the film is made, he carefully trims away modern LA. The film moves between the Bryson Apartments, the racetrack, and scenes on a train. Gone are the glitter and glitz of modern downtown and its skyscrapers. In their place are the greed and grift that have always been the motor driving the City of Angels--foNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
44.Episode 15: The Lady From Shanghai00:00:001/12/2006Every Orson Welles film demonstrates the great director's ability to work with and against filmic tradition. "The Lady from Shanghai" is a compendium of noir conventions: it tells a tale of post-war greed, of Americans willing to tear each other asunder for a dollar; it is the story of an irresistible dame and the smart guy who becomes a chump the second he lays eyes on her; it uses A-stars against type so as to bring out their blemishes and inner demons (even daring to cut and dye Hayworth's faNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
45.Episode 14: Notorious00:00:0012/29/2005The question of whether Hitchcock is a noir director remains open. What is certain is that by 1946 noir aesthetics began to inflect every genre from the Holiday picture ("It's a Wonderful Life") to the espionage/thriller film. Like "The Third Man," "Notorious" is best described as the latter, for its political and geographical scope exceed what is typical of noir, and justice is defined and done in unambiguous terms. Nevertheless, at crucial moments a noir camera vision is manifest. More importaNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
46.Episode 13: It's a Wonderful Life00:00:0012/12/2005With "It's A Wonderful Life" Capra launched his independent studio, Liberty Films. He thought he had a guaranteed box office winner, with stars Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, and the power-to-the-people message that had made his pre-war films such successes. He was wrong. Capra never seemed to realize what a dark film he had made, nor understand that his populist message no longer resonated. This film would not acheive great success until decades later, when the divorce generation would (mis)New Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
47.Episode 12: Rififi00:00:0011/28/2005Hollywood began tearing itself apart with accusations of Communism in 1947, and in 1949 American director Jules Dassin was blacklisted. In order to pursue his craft he fled to France, where he cobbled together a small budget and a motley crew of B stars. Together they created the heist masterpiece Rififi, the tale of a ragtag international band of thieves who use inferior tools and superior know-how to pull off the job of a lifetime. They are in the clear until somebody rats and then one by oNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
48.Episode 11: The Big Sleep and The Big Lebowski00:00:0011/12/2005When "The Big Lebowski" was released in 1998, Ethan and Joel Coen claimed its "episodic" narrative structure found its source in the work of Raymond Chandler. In this super-sized double-feature podcast, Richard and Shannon examine "The Big Lebowski" against Howard Hawks's 1946 noir "The Big Sleep," and both films against Chandler's 1939 novel "The Big Sleep." Beyond their similar narrative structures, these works all present consummate dialogue, a panoply of memorable characters, and crimes anNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
49.Episode 10: The Killers00:00:0011/1/2005While Robert Siodmak's noir triumph "Ernest Hemingway's 'The Killers'" flaunts its literary bloodlines, Hemingway's 1927 short story is little more than a pretext. The film actually investigates the fundamental post-WWII question: in a world where every man bears scars from the fight, how and why does he keep fighting? Siodmak's answer seems to be the very one given by Albert Camus in his famous essay "The Myth of Sisyphus." At the moment a man accepts the burden of his existence, bends to shouNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
50.Episode 9: Laura00:00:0010/14/2005Otto Preminger's 1944 "Laura" marks an important transition in film history. Visually it harks back to Hollywood's Golden Era, flooding with light elaborate sets and the glamorous stars they hold--but at crucial moments a noir vision bubbles up to artfully blemish this smooth facade. It is a classic love story--except that it hinges on forbidden fantasy and murder. It at once gives a coy nod to the parlor psychology of the "Thin Man" variety of mystery, and looks forward to the dark HitchcockianNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
51.Episode 8: The Asphalt Jungle00:00:0010/1/2005Shannon and Richard argue that John Huston's directorial evolution from "The Maltese Falcon" to the prototype heist film "The Asphalt Jungle" provides a blueprint of the evolution of film noir from the early 40's to the early 50's. With "The Asphalt Jungle" noir enters an even darker phase in it's history: an ensemble of tragic criminals (all brilliantly cast) displaces the strong leading man; the certainty of contained criminality cedes to the anxiety of widespread malfeasance; the city is a waNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
52.Episode 7: The Hitch-Hiker00:00:009/15/2005One of the only female directors of Hollywood's Golden Age, no one could coax more from actors or tell a story with greater economy than Ida Lupino. Her 1953 gem the Hitch-Hiker hooks you with the opening still and leaves you breathless and running scared for seventy perfectly polished minutes. Lupino rubs the sheen off violence to create a quasi-documentary vision of criminality striking at random the most remote corners of society. A profoundly unsettling film, it works above all on the male pNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
53.Episode 6: Blade Runner00:00:009/1/2005Out of the past and straight into the future, Ridley Scott blends film noir and science fiction in "Blade Runner." Richard and Shannon query this unusual mix, and ask how a style that is often as outlandishly unrealistic as noir could be used to make science fiction feel more grounded and approachable. They consider why, aside from strong performances by Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Daryl Hannah, this film achieved such renown, and came to be considered the epitome of neo-noir. Like the DNANew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
54.Episode 5: The Maltese Falcon00:00:008/15/2005This episode examines the classic "The Maltese Falcon." Based on a book by Dashiell Hammett, starring Humphrey Bogart, directed by John Huston, it is generally considered the first "film noir." As Richard and Shannon examine this landmark film, they discuss film noir's debt to hard-boiled fiction, Huston's inventive camerawork as the beginning of a visual style, and Bogart's portrayal as the prototype for noir tough guys. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.netNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
55.Episode 4: The Third Man00:00:008/1/2005As they discuss "The Third Man," starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten, Shannon and Richard debate whether film noir is a "style" or a "genre." As a style many of its visual features can be adapted to other genres (war films, westerns). If it is a genre such adaptations are problematic, for "noir" has recognizable themes. Richard and Shannon have a lively debate over these definitions, and the question, "is 'The Third Man' a film noir?" Their different answers lead to very different assessNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
56.Episode 3: Batman Begins00:00:007/15/2005Episode three of this podcast series investigates Christopher Nolan's blockbuster "Batman Begins" in relation to the visual and narrative conventions of film noir. Richard and Shannon ask what it means to dub a modern film "noir," as many reviews of "Batman Begins" have done. They discuss the complexity of Christian Bale's Batman, and how it seems to draw on sources as diverse as hard-boiled fiction and Frank Miller's graphic novel "The Dark Knight Returns." Likewise, they discuss the visualNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
57.Episode 2: Double Indemnity00:00:007/9/2005In this podcast, Clute and Edwards investigate Billy Wilder's 1944 noir classic "Double Indemnity." They place the film in its historic context and query its unusual success; it was nominated for seven Academy Awards in a year when feel-good films like "Going My Way" were the rule. They conclude that while Wilder's direction is a masterpiece of subtlety, the film owes its enduring legacy to two factors: the strong acting of Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson and Fred MacMurray; the unsurpassNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload
58.Episode 1: Out of the Past00:00:007/2/2005In this premier episode, Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards discuss Jacques Tourneur's noir masterpiece "Out of the Past." They explain why it is the first film they choose for their continuing series of podcasts delving into the history of film noir. In the course of a lively discussion of this film, Clute and Edwards argue that while "Out of the Past" is not an early noir, it is nonetheless a prototype that helps the viewer define just what is film noir. As of July 15th, new episodes will bNew Media Program, School of Informatics, IU IndianapolisEnglishDownload