Film Noir Reader 3 BOOK review

Book Reviews
Film Noir Reader 3 BOOK review
Aug 1, 2004, 03:42

FILM NOIR READER 3 edited by Robert Porfirio, Alain Silver and James Ursini; Limelight Editions, 2002

An enjoyable read and really, the kind of book I wish someone would publish about contemporary music. All of the directors, actors and cinematographers interviewed in this book were involved in a series of films that got tagged as noir after the fact. And almost universally, each person interviewed speaks of the specifics of creation and pooh-poohs the efforts of critics to tie up a bunch of different films into one neat bundle. The late great Billy Wilder is the most insistent and articulate exponent of creativity carrying its own necessities. His enlightened and amused contempt for the efforts of critics to shoehorn his work into genres is evident and encouraging to read. The other main impression I got from this book is how the monetary constraints of the studio system and B Films encouraged the people interviewed here to work swiftly and well. Those limitations of money, time and even the film code, obviously made the people involved work with more imagination and creativity than the everything goes atmosphere does for contemporary filmmaking. That's why Anthony Mann made movies that will ultimately exceed Tarantino's in both quantity and quality.

-Bruce Adams

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