1. Hibbs writes: “In its assumption that a double” — that is a “dark self” — “lurks just beneath the surface of the most ordinary individuals, noir punctures naive, conventional assumptions about human behavior.”

    This I think is exactly right, and I can’t understand your position that the emergence of a film tradition with this underlying theme precisely in the wake of the global catastrophe of WWII and in the shadow of nuclear annihilation had nothing to do with those phenomena.

    To me, the connection is self-evident, and if it’s a cliche, it’s a cliche because it’s true.

  2. A conservative journalist, Steven Martinovich, has today posted a commentary on the book at http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0608/0608artsofdarkness.htm:

    “Although they can be bleak and filled with anti-heroes, he argues, film noir was also a positive movement which featured its protagonists on spiritual quests for redemption. Film noir is actually a conservative-friendly film genre, writes Hibbs… It can certainly be argued that many of the protagonists in film noir begin with utter confidence and come to realize that their carefully ordered world is merely an illusion, more binding than liberating. Inquiry and penitence often begins their journey to redemption.”

    One could equally apply a Marxist critique here, where the ‘illusion’ is a manifestation of ‘false consciousness’ and liberation is the destruction of the illusion, which can in film noir just as likely destroy the noir protagonist as redeem him…

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