Dark Borders: Film Noir and American Citizenship by Jonathan Auerbach

By Jonathan Auerbach

Dark Borders connects anxieties approximately citizenship and nationwide belonging in midcentury the US to the feel of alienation conveyed by way of American movie noir. Jonathan Auerbach presents in-depth interpretations of greater than a dozen of those darkish crime thrillers, contemplating them with regards to U.S. nationwide security features enacted from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s. the expansion of a family intelligence-gathering gear sooner than, in the course of, and after the second one international warfare raised unsettling questions on who used to be American and who was once now not, and the way to inform the adaptation. Auerbach indicates how politics and aesthetics merge in those noirs, whose oft-noted uncanniness betrays the phobia that “un-American” foes lurk in the place of origin. This tone of dispossession was once mirrored in famous motion pictures, together with Double Indemnity, Out of the Past, and Pickup on South Street, and no more usual noirs corresponding to Stranger at the 3rd Floor, The Chase, and Ride the red Horse. no matter if tracing the results of the Gestapo in the United States, or the doubtful borderlines that separate the USA from Cuba and Mexico, those videos blur limitations; inside and out turn into pressured as (presumed) foreigners take over family area. To consider like a stranger on your own residence: this can be the ordinary affective situation of citizenship intensified by way of wartime and chilly battle safety features, in addition to a prime temper using many midcentury noir films.

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