Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Post-noir: Getting back to business

Bould, Mark

Post-noir: Getting back to business Thumbnail


Mark Bould
Professor of Film and Literature


Homer B. Pettey

R. Barton Palmer


‘Post-noir’ is, like all noir labels, heavily contested; even the need for it is open to question. Drawing on Fredric Jameson, Anne McClintock, Jean-François Lyotard and Kwame Anthony Appiah, this essay examines several specific – and contradictory – uses of the term/concept to identify its potential utility in distinguishing between and grouping together varieties of noir filmmaking at this current conjuncture. Following the example of Jennifer Fay and Justus Nieland, this essay treats noir as a mode of exploring the effects of a global capitalism on local cultures. A transnational thriller such as The International (2009) depicts the kinds of corruption that have become ‘business as usual’. More localised conspiracy narratives – the Colombian Perder es cuestión de método/The Art of Losing (2004), the Indian Manorama Six Feet Under (2007) – incorporate a stronger sense of the lives impoverished by corporate globalisation. The US Frozen River (2008) and the Chinese Mang jing/Blind Shaft (2003) focus on the local but pointedly connect immiserated lives to the circulation of global capital. If ‘post-noir’ does have a use, perhaps it is this: to describe contemporary noir that, after all that gleeful pastiche, has gotten back to the business of critique.

Publication Date Nov 11, 2014
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2019
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Book Title International Noir
ISBN 9780748691104
Keywords post, postness, postmodern, pastiche, film noir, The International, Perder es cuestión de método, The Art of Losing, Manorama Six Feet Under, Frozen River, Mang jing, Blind Shaft
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Bould, M., Post-noir: Getting back to business, 2014, Edinburgh University Press reproduced with permission of Edinburgh University Press. This extract is taken from the Publisher’s Final Version of the work. The published version of record is available here:
Contract Date Jan 31, 2013


You might also like

Downloadable Citations