Dark Borders: Film Noir and American Citizenship

Dark Borders: Film Noir and American Citizenship

Jonathan Auerbach


Dark Borders connects anxieties approximately citizenship and nationwide belonging in midcentury the USA to the experience of alienation conveyed through American movie noir. Jonathan Auerbach presents in-depth interpretations of greater than a dozen of those darkish crime thrillers, contemplating them relating to U.S. nationwide safety features enacted from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s. the expansion of a household intelligence-gathering gear earlier than, in the course of, and after the second one international struggle raised unsettling questions about who used to be American and who was once now not, and the way to inform the variation. Auerbach indicates how politics and aesthetics merge in those noirs, whose oft-noted uncanniness betrays the terror 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 not more primary noirs reminiscent of Stranger at the 3rd Floor, The Chase, and Ride the crimson Horse. even if tracing the results of the Gestapo in the US, or the doubtful borderlines that separate the U.S. from Cuba and Mexico, those video clips blur obstacles; inside and out turn into careworn as (presumed) foreigners take over family area. To suppose like a stranger on your own residence: this is often the abnormal affective of citizenship intensified through wartime and chilly conflict safety features, in addition to a main temper riding many midcentury noir films.

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