Film noir reflects the fatalistic themes and visual style of hard-boiled novelists and many émigré filmmakers in 1940s and 1950s America, emphasizing crime, alienation, and moral ambiguity. InThe Philosophy of TV Noir, Steven M. Sanders and Aeon J. Skoble argue that the legacy of film noir classics such asThe Maltese Falcon, Kiss Me Deadly,andThe Big Sleepis also found in episodic television from the mid-1950s to the present.
In this first-of-its-kind collection, contributors from philosophy, film studies, and literature raise fundamental questions about the human predicament, giving this unique volume its moral resonance and demonstrating why television noir deserves our attention. The introduction traces the development of TV noir and provides an overview and evaluation of the book's thirteen essays, each of which discusses an exemplary TV noir series.
Realism, relativism, and integrity are discussed in essays onDragnet, Naked City, The Fugitive,andSecret Agent. Existentialist themes of authenticity, nihilism, and the search for life's meaning are addressed in essays onMiami Vice, The Sopranos, Carnivale,and24. The methods of crime scene investigation inThe X-FilesandCSIare examined, followed by an exploration of autonomy, selfhood, and interpretation inThe Prisoner, Twin Peaks, The X-Files,andMillennium.
With this focus on the philosophical dimensions of crime, espionage, and science fiction series,The Philosophy of TV Noirdraws out the full implications of film noir and establishes TV noir as an art form in its own right.
Subjects: Performing Arts, Philosophy
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