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Arts of Darkness - American Noir and the Quest for Redemption

Item Number: 60390

Catalog Code: 527952-DIS

Product Details
H x W x D: 

9 34/103"  (23.6 cm) x 6 34/103"  (16.0 cm) x 0"  2008

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Your Price: $27.95

Format:      Hardcover   

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 Our Description

What do your favorite films have in common?

The answer is inside this book.

 General Description:

Often denouced as nihilistic and even degenerate, film noir seems an unlikely antidote to the despair of contemporary popular culture.  But at the heart of these dark films is a spiritual quest that is profoundly hopeful.  In a fascinating re-evaluation of "American noir," Thomas Hibbs argues that these powerful tales of sin and redemption embody religious themes that are essential for cultural renewal. 

Starting with early noir classics such as Double Indemnity and The Maltese Falcon, Hibbs reveals their surprising connection with contemporary quest films such as The Passion of the Christ, The Sixth Sense, and Spider Man.  Despite its roots in the heyday of Hollywood Marxism, noir even displays a distinctly conservative bent - redemption is personal, not political, and scientific rationalism fails to deliver on its sunny promises.  

Hibbs' unmatched ability to uncover a film's philosophical foundations and explain their importance to the ordinary viewer has won him wide popularity as a critic.  "This is cultural analysis at a high level," National Review has said of his work, "and we need more of it."

Arts of Darkness is Hibbs at his best, exploring not only the shadowy works of the 1940s and 1950s but also recent films in which the dark themes of noir converge with the quest for redemption.  Hibbs dubs these diverse but related works "American noir," a term that encompasses  Chinatown, and Taxi Driver, The Matrix and The Terminator, American Beauty and Thelma and Louise.  Hibbs insists that these tragic and gritty films stand among the most powerful religious narratives of our time.

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