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With "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)read it as a tale of the redemptive virtues of the nuclear family. Richard and Shannon read it as a proof of just how influential noir's themes and visual style were in the wake of the war. Welcome to 1946--the year of suicide, and noir. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Direct download: OOTP_2005_12_15_IAWL.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 6:10 AM
Comments[3]

Hollywood 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 one they are hunted down. The real crime is that Dassin had to fashion this allegorical gem while in exile. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Direct download: OOTP_2005_12_01_R.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 5:42 AM
Comments[3]

When "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 and anxieties impossible to imagine outside Los Angeles--the city of angels, and noir. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com/
Direct download: OOTP_2005_11_15_BSBL.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 6:19 AM
Comments[4]

While 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 shoulder the stone of his being, he is greater than his destiny. Siodmak adds a caveat: if a man knowingly wrongs another he seals his own doom, and the killers descend on him like Fate itself. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com/
Direct download: OOTP_2005_11_01_TK.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 7:07 AM
Comments[1]

Otto 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 Hitchcockian psychological thriller. It is a Janus of a film, and it may be eternally debated whether its double vision signals an end or a beginning. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com/

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Direct download: OOTP_2005_10_15_L.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 4:51 AM
Comments[1]

Shannon 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 wasteland of corruption; time is an inexorable force that marches characters toward their doom. It is a vision so dark, so fatalistic, that it seems to owe as much to Italian Neorealism as to the noir tradition. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com/

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Direct download: OOTP_2005_10_01_AJ.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 4:08 AM
Comments[0]

One 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 psyche, blowing wide open the post-war crisis of masculinity in a culture "up to its neck in IOU's." This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com/

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Direct download: OOTP_2005_09_14_HH.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 4:30 AM
Comments[1]

Out 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 DNA of the humanoid Replicants in the movie, the filmic code Scott created in "Blade Runner" has proved to be as ineluctable as it is generative. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com/

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Direct download: OOTP_2005_09_01_BR.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:06 AM
Comments[4]

This 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.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com/

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Direct download: OOTP_2005_08_15_MF.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:05 AM
Comments[0]

As 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 assessments of the film. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com/

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Direct download: OOTP_2005_08_01_TTM.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:04 AM
Comments[6]

Episode 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 visual style of "Batman Begins" in relation to such films as Fritz Lang's "Metropolis," Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner," and Tim Burton's "Batman Returns." A great overview of "noir" from its origins to the present. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com/

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Direct download: OOTP_2005_07_15_BB.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:01 AM

In 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 unsurpassed script by Billy Wilder, James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com/

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Direct download: OOTP_2005_07_08_DI.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:15 AM

In 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 be available for downloading on the 1st and 15th of each month. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com/

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Direct download: 1_OOTP.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:52 PM

On January 20, 2011 Clute introduced the film Mildred Pierce at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, as part of their Noir Series. His talk was preceded by a question and answer session with Jared Case (Head of Cataloguing and Research Center) on several noir topics: the origins of the Out of the Past podcast series; certain underappreciated aspects of noir; how scholarly approaches to noir have limited what we see; a new film studies paradigm he and Richard Edwards worked out in their forthcoming book The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism, which allows them unleash and understand other narrative potentials lurking in noir. For more information, visit www.noircast.net, or like us on Facebook under Noircast.

Direct download: 2011-07-15NS4.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00 PM