Decades after the popularization of film noir, the pessimistic, shadowy genre continues to have admirers all over the world. Just in time for “Noirvember” comes Andre Dickos’s Street with No Name: A History of the Classic American Film Noir, published by the University Press of Kentucky.
In this work, Dickos offers a thorough overview of film noir’s history, beginning with its foundation in German expressionism as well as interwar French cinema. He traces its development in early 1940s America through the 1970s, on to the present. Additionally, Dickos focuses upon stylistic characteristics of the genre as well as some of its most notable characters. Moreover, Dickos explores the growth of the genre through its memorable directors as well as its influence upon postwar filmmakers.
While film noir was impactful in filmmaking, it also had strong ties to culture, politics, and social concerns, which Dickos also examines, among many popular as well as lesser-known film noir titles. In addition to including an array of interesting photos from film noirs and intriguing discussions of various on and off-screen talents related to the genre, Dickos’s approach to identifying and analyzing the themes of the genre is also well-executed.