title

Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir

Clute and Edwards

4
Followers
1
Plays
Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir
Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir

Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir

Clute and Edwards

4
Followers
1
Plays
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About Us

Each film noir weaves its own yarn of longing, corruption, and fateful decisions. In each episode of this podcast series, Clute and Edwards investigate one noir or neo-noir in detail. Following various threads of inquiry, they attempt to unravel the vast canvas of noir. More info at www.noircast.net

Latest Episodes

Noircast Special 4: TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir

Miguel Rodriquez of Monster Island Resort and Will McKinley of Cinematically Insaneinterview Clute and Edwards on the topic of TCM PresentsInto the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir, a free multimedia online course presented by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Ball State University. This course is the latest collaboration by the creators of the Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir podcast series and will benefit from the promotional and social media support of TCM, where Clute now serves as head of Marketing and Editorial, and the innovative multimedia course materials created by Ball State University, where Edwards is Executive Director of iLearn Research. The course is free and open to the public, will run in conjunction with the two-month “Summer of Darkness” festival on TCM, featuring 24 hours of film noir every Friday in June and July, 2015.

80 MIN2015 JUN 4
Comments
Noircast Special 4: TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir

Episode 53: Out of the Past Act II

OUT OF THE PAST is perhaps the most carefully structured of all films noir--a narrative divided (like protagonist Jeff Markum/Bailey) between an inescapable past and an impossible future, teetering on the slimmest hope for the present such that any action taken by its poor players tips them down into the abyss. Director Jacques Tourneur, cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca and screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring perfectly synchronized their efforts on this film, creating a narrative masterpiece where every image perfectly accompanies or contrasts every line of dialogue, where the whole is so self-conscious that it forces us to view each moment through every other, creating a true mise-en- abyme. It would be as impossible for the viewer to enter into such a story as it is for the characters to escape it, if it weren't for the decision to create a "Meta" narration at exactly the halfway point of the film, allowing the viewer to sort past from present in a film that constantly blurs that dist...

45 MIN2011 NOV 24
Comments
Episode 53: Out of the Past Act II

Episode 52: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (with Scott McGee)

Appearances can be deceiving. On the surface, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is pure science fiction, the tale of seed pods from outer space that produce emotionless body doubles of each citizen in the small town of Santa Mira. Often read as an allegory of either Communism or McCarthyism, where every person who becomes "one of them" loses autonomy by willingly buying into the unthinking collective, the film in fact plumbs questions of humanity in the modern era with subtlety and nuance more common to films noir than to science fiction movies. As Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) and Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter) fight to remain human, they question the mass hysteria of the era, recognize that all appearances are misleading in a mass media culture, and discuss how we lose our humanity in times of social dislocation. Director Don Siegal, screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring and producer Walter Wanger draw on their extensive experience in creating iconic films noir to craft a movie that self...

43 MIN2011 OCT 16
Comments
Episode 52: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (with Scott McGee)

Episode 51: L.A. Noire

A product of Clute and Edwards' longstanding fascination with film noir and hard-boiled literature, this podcast investigates how certain mid-century visual and storytelling conventions evolved into Rockstar Games/Team Bondi's new video game L.A. NOIRE. To some degree, noir and hard-boiled themselves evolved from a 19th-century literary tradition that involved contests of deduction and linear modes of problem-solving (a tradition established by Edgar Allan Poe), but in the wake of two world wars and other evidence of the havoc wreaked by modern "progress" those storytelling traditions evolved into something darker and more nuanced—something that offered less certain outcomes. L.A NOIRE plays on both traditions: it is linear and problem-based in its narrative structure, yet its underlying worldview is as brooding and morally ambiguous as the finest films noir and hard-boiled novels. Like all great digital works it is a mashup that weaves together swaths of historical events and pop ...

37 MIN2011 AUG 16
Comments
Episode 51: L.A. Noire

Episode 50: The Blue Dahlia

A script by Raymond Chandler. Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd, and William Bendix in leading roles. Costumes by the great Edith Head, and cinematography by Lionel Lindon, who had been nominated for best cinematography just the year before for the Oscar sensation GOING MY WAY. In short, THE BLUE DAHLIA seems to have everything going it’s way. Why, then, does the film fail to deliver the emotional impact of near contemporary titles like THE KILLERS or THE BIG SLEEP? To frame an answer to this question, we must first displace the many frames through which we have become accustomed to viewing the film—most notably Producer John Houseman’s apocryphal account of how Chandler’s alcoholism impacted the screenplay. If we divest ourselves of these frames and really focus on the film, we see that Chandler’s script rescues, rather than compromises, this movie. THE BLUE DAHLIA is more a victim of an identity crisis, a film unable for reasons of censorship and limited artistic vision to commit full...

42 MIN2009 NOV 8
Comments
Episode 50: The Blue Dahlia

Episode 49: Bande à part (with Dr. Jeffrey Peters)

In this episode, guest investigator Jeffrey Peters (Associate Professor of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Kentucky), leads a panel of five undergraduate students from his Honors Program course "French Film Noir" in a discussion of Jean-Luc Godard's 1964 BAND OF OUTSIDERS (Bande à part), starring Anna Karina, Sami Frey, and Claude Brasseur. Jeff is a specialist in early modern French literature and culture, poetics and rhetoric, and film studies, and former chair of the Division of French and Italian at UK. He is joined by Honor students Bethany Futrell, Jesseca Johnson, Ryan Palmer, Nick Purol, and Daniel Robbins. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir at http://outofthepast.libsyn.com.

36 MIN2009 AUG 25
Comments
Episode 49: Bande à part (with Dr. Jeffrey Peters)

Episode 48: In a Lonely Place (with Megan Abbott)

Clute and Edwards welcome guest investigator Megan Abbott , the reigning Dark Dame of Noir. Megan is the author of a superb nonfiction study of hardboiled and noir protagonists entitled THE STREET WAS MINE, and three gut-wrenching throwback crime novels: DIE A LITTLE, THE SONG IS YOU, and QUEENPIN. The first title is scheduled to be released as a United Artists feature film in 2010, with Jessica Biel in the lead role. Megan's choice for this episode is the 1950 Nicholas Ray film IN A LONELY PLACE, starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. To learn more about Megan's work, visit www.meganabbott.com. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards, of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir at http://outofthepast.libsyn.com.

50 MIN2008 DEC 27
Comments
Episode 48: In a Lonely Place (with Megan Abbott)

Episode 47: Bob Le Flambeur (with Howard Rodman and Mike White)

Howard Rodman and Mike White are this episode’s guest investigators. Rodman and White discuss Jean-Pierre Melville’s great 1956 film, Bob Le Flambeur. Howard Rodman is a screenwriter, novelist and USC film professor. His most recent screen credits include Savage Grace and August. Mike White is the publisher and editors of Cahiers du Cinemart, an obscure and obtuse film magazine from Detroit. Visit Mike’s website at impossiblefunky.com. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards, of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir at http://outofthepast.libsyn.com.

38 MIN2008 AUG 13
Comments
Episode 47: Bob Le Flambeur (with Howard Rodman and Mike White)

Episode 46: Thieves Highway (with Eddie Muller)

Thanks to listener support, Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noiris a featured podcast at iTunes, has generated nearly 200,000 downloads worldwide, and has a per-episode audience of over 4,000. With such a record of success, Clute and Edwards are now able to reach out to a wide range of noir scholars, to use the program as a forum to broaden public discourse on the enduring importance of this distinctively American film style. May's guest is the Czar of Noir, Eddie Muller. Eddie is the Founder and President of the Film Noir Foundation, and the man who organizes the Noir City Film Festival in San Francisco. He is also the author of three superlative studies of film noir (Dark City, Dark City Dames, and The Art of Noir) and two supernal throwback hard-boiled novels (The Distance and Shadow Boxer). Eddie's selection is the 1949 Jules Dassin Film THIEVES' HIGHWAY.

52 MIN2008 JUN 18
Comments
Episode 46: Thieves Highway (with Eddie Muller)

Episode 45: Force of Evil

FORCE OF EVIL shows us that small-time graft is less dangerous than big-time rackets that have the law, the trust of the public, and the appearance of respectability on their side. Ultimately, the crime is the system itself, and the very philosophical underpinnings of capitalism are liable. And while Abraham Polonsky's courage in addressing these themes is remarkable, the degree of craft he exhibits as a rookie director is nothing short of astonishing. With Ira Wolfert, he co-authors a script so rich in its ability to expose the poverty of our dreams, and so stylized and impossibly catchy in its dialogue, that it can't help but feel more real than the real. With this script, and uncommon directing talent, Polonsky coaxes career-best performance from John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, and Marie Windsor. And with Director of Photography George Barnes, Polonsky frames some of the most beautiful and narratively rich shots in film history. FORCE OF EVIL may be the noir that most perfectly capt...

48 MIN2008 MAR 11
Comments
Episode 45: Force of Evil

Latest Episodes

Noircast Special 4: TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir

Miguel Rodriquez of Monster Island Resort and Will McKinley of Cinematically Insaneinterview Clute and Edwards on the topic of TCM PresentsInto the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir, a free multimedia online course presented by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Ball State University. This course is the latest collaboration by the creators of the Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir podcast series and will benefit from the promotional and social media support of TCM, where Clute now serves as head of Marketing and Editorial, and the innovative multimedia course materials created by Ball State University, where Edwards is Executive Director of iLearn Research. The course is free and open to the public, will run in conjunction with the two-month “Summer of Darkness” festival on TCM, featuring 24 hours of film noir every Friday in June and July, 2015.

80 MIN2015 JUN 4
Comments
Noircast Special 4: TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir

Episode 53: Out of the Past Act II

OUT OF THE PAST is perhaps the most carefully structured of all films noir--a narrative divided (like protagonist Jeff Markum/Bailey) between an inescapable past and an impossible future, teetering on the slimmest hope for the present such that any action taken by its poor players tips them down into the abyss. Director Jacques Tourneur, cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca and screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring perfectly synchronized their efforts on this film, creating a narrative masterpiece where every image perfectly accompanies or contrasts every line of dialogue, where the whole is so self-conscious that it forces us to view each moment through every other, creating a true mise-en- abyme. It would be as impossible for the viewer to enter into such a story as it is for the characters to escape it, if it weren't for the decision to create a "Meta" narration at exactly the halfway point of the film, allowing the viewer to sort past from present in a film that constantly blurs that dist...

45 MIN2011 NOV 24
Comments
Episode 53: Out of the Past Act II

Episode 52: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (with Scott McGee)

Appearances can be deceiving. On the surface, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is pure science fiction, the tale of seed pods from outer space that produce emotionless body doubles of each citizen in the small town of Santa Mira. Often read as an allegory of either Communism or McCarthyism, where every person who becomes "one of them" loses autonomy by willingly buying into the unthinking collective, the film in fact plumbs questions of humanity in the modern era with subtlety and nuance more common to films noir than to science fiction movies. As Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) and Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter) fight to remain human, they question the mass hysteria of the era, recognize that all appearances are misleading in a mass media culture, and discuss how we lose our humanity in times of social dislocation. Director Don Siegal, screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring and producer Walter Wanger draw on their extensive experience in creating iconic films noir to craft a movie that self...

43 MIN2011 OCT 16
Comments
Episode 52: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (with Scott McGee)

Episode 51: L.A. Noire

A product of Clute and Edwards' longstanding fascination with film noir and hard-boiled literature, this podcast investigates how certain mid-century visual and storytelling conventions evolved into Rockstar Games/Team Bondi's new video game L.A. NOIRE. To some degree, noir and hard-boiled themselves evolved from a 19th-century literary tradition that involved contests of deduction and linear modes of problem-solving (a tradition established by Edgar Allan Poe), but in the wake of two world wars and other evidence of the havoc wreaked by modern "progress" those storytelling traditions evolved into something darker and more nuanced—something that offered less certain outcomes. L.A NOIRE plays on both traditions: it is linear and problem-based in its narrative structure, yet its underlying worldview is as brooding and morally ambiguous as the finest films noir and hard-boiled novels. Like all great digital works it is a mashup that weaves together swaths of historical events and pop ...

37 MIN2011 AUG 16
Comments
Episode 51: L.A. Noire

Episode 50: The Blue Dahlia

A script by Raymond Chandler. Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd, and William Bendix in leading roles. Costumes by the great Edith Head, and cinematography by Lionel Lindon, who had been nominated for best cinematography just the year before for the Oscar sensation GOING MY WAY. In short, THE BLUE DAHLIA seems to have everything going it’s way. Why, then, does the film fail to deliver the emotional impact of near contemporary titles like THE KILLERS or THE BIG SLEEP? To frame an answer to this question, we must first displace the many frames through which we have become accustomed to viewing the film—most notably Producer John Houseman’s apocryphal account of how Chandler’s alcoholism impacted the screenplay. If we divest ourselves of these frames and really focus on the film, we see that Chandler’s script rescues, rather than compromises, this movie. THE BLUE DAHLIA is more a victim of an identity crisis, a film unable for reasons of censorship and limited artistic vision to commit full...

42 MIN2009 NOV 8
Comments
Episode 50: The Blue Dahlia

Episode 49: Bande à part (with Dr. Jeffrey Peters)

In this episode, guest investigator Jeffrey Peters (Associate Professor of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Kentucky), leads a panel of five undergraduate students from his Honors Program course "French Film Noir" in a discussion of Jean-Luc Godard's 1964 BAND OF OUTSIDERS (Bande à part), starring Anna Karina, Sami Frey, and Claude Brasseur. Jeff is a specialist in early modern French literature and culture, poetics and rhetoric, and film studies, and former chair of the Division of French and Italian at UK. He is joined by Honor students Bethany Futrell, Jesseca Johnson, Ryan Palmer, Nick Purol, and Daniel Robbins. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir at http://outofthepast.libsyn.com.

36 MIN2009 AUG 25
Comments
Episode 49: Bande à part (with Dr. Jeffrey Peters)

Episode 48: In a Lonely Place (with Megan Abbott)

Clute and Edwards welcome guest investigator Megan Abbott , the reigning Dark Dame of Noir. Megan is the author of a superb nonfiction study of hardboiled and noir protagonists entitled THE STREET WAS MINE, and three gut-wrenching throwback crime novels: DIE A LITTLE, THE SONG IS YOU, and QUEENPIN. The first title is scheduled to be released as a United Artists feature film in 2010, with Jessica Biel in the lead role. Megan's choice for this episode is the 1950 Nicholas Ray film IN A LONELY PLACE, starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. To learn more about Megan's work, visit www.meganabbott.com. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards, of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir at http://outofthepast.libsyn.com.

50 MIN2008 DEC 27
Comments
Episode 48: In a Lonely Place (with Megan Abbott)

Episode 47: Bob Le Flambeur (with Howard Rodman and Mike White)

Howard Rodman and Mike White are this episode’s guest investigators. Rodman and White discuss Jean-Pierre Melville’s great 1956 film, Bob Le Flambeur. Howard Rodman is a screenwriter, novelist and USC film professor. His most recent screen credits include Savage Grace and August. Mike White is the publisher and editors of Cahiers du Cinemart, an obscure and obtuse film magazine from Detroit. Visit Mike’s website at impossiblefunky.com. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards, of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir at http://outofthepast.libsyn.com.

38 MIN2008 AUG 13
Comments
Episode 47: Bob Le Flambeur (with Howard Rodman and Mike White)

Episode 46: Thieves Highway (with Eddie Muller)

Thanks to listener support, Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noiris a featured podcast at iTunes, has generated nearly 200,000 downloads worldwide, and has a per-episode audience of over 4,000. With such a record of success, Clute and Edwards are now able to reach out to a wide range of noir scholars, to use the program as a forum to broaden public discourse on the enduring importance of this distinctively American film style. May's guest is the Czar of Noir, Eddie Muller. Eddie is the Founder and President of the Film Noir Foundation, and the man who organizes the Noir City Film Festival in San Francisco. He is also the author of three superlative studies of film noir (Dark City, Dark City Dames, and The Art of Noir) and two supernal throwback hard-boiled novels (The Distance and Shadow Boxer). Eddie's selection is the 1949 Jules Dassin Film THIEVES' HIGHWAY.

52 MIN2008 JUN 18
Comments
Episode 46: Thieves Highway (with Eddie Muller)

Episode 45: Force of Evil

FORCE OF EVIL shows us that small-time graft is less dangerous than big-time rackets that have the law, the trust of the public, and the appearance of respectability on their side. Ultimately, the crime is the system itself, and the very philosophical underpinnings of capitalism are liable. And while Abraham Polonsky's courage in addressing these themes is remarkable, the degree of craft he exhibits as a rookie director is nothing short of astonishing. With Ira Wolfert, he co-authors a script so rich in its ability to expose the poverty of our dreams, and so stylized and impossibly catchy in its dialogue, that it can't help but feel more real than the real. With this script, and uncommon directing talent, Polonsky coaxes career-best performance from John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, and Marie Windsor. And with Director of Photography George Barnes, Polonsky frames some of the most beautiful and narratively rich shots in film history. FORCE OF EVIL may be the noir that most perfectly capt...

48 MIN2008 MAR 11
Comments
Episode 45: Force of Evil