Class, Crime and International Film Noir: Globalizing by Dennis Broe (auth.)

By Dennis Broe (auth.)

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Extra resources for Class, Crime and International Film Noir: Globalizing America’s Dark Art

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This moment broke the workers and their government, and constituted a violent about face from one worker’s expression of power in 1936: ‘I had a pleasant feeling of being one of the lords and masters of Renault’ ( Jackson 1988, p. 104). 7 2 The (peculiarly French) genius of the system In the 1930s as a whole – and more so in the latter part of the decade – the French mode of production was freer and looser than the Hollywood studio system but with some of the characteristics of both the Studio Era ‘B’ Film and the post-war Independent Production moments of that system.

This resulted, as Italian critic Otello Angeli described, in ‘a progressive decline in quality production in favor of middle-brow production’ (Forgacs and Gundle 2007, p. 133). Indeed, Giulio Andreotti himself, the minister responsible for the law and later Prime Minister, had expressed his revulsion at Italian social cinema in much the same way as the MPAA’s Johnston, proclaiming that De Sica’s Umberto D was a ‘wretched service to his fatherland’ (qtd. in Marcus 1986, p. 26). American money then invaded Italian film production and by the early to mid-1950s, instead of the image of a ravaged people attempting to rebuild their dignity and confront their social problems, Italian exports were replaced by co-productions mixing Hollywood actors with now ‘exotic’ Italian stars in picturesque locations (for example, Roman Holiday [1953]).

However, in Gramsci there is then yet a deeper level, or, perhaps, a further movement of the dialectic, in which the cultural articulation is understood by all. ’ It was film workers, employing a series of tropes around crime and the law, who articulated first the hopes, then the anger and despair that the dashing of those hopes engendered. They embedded these ‘feelings’ in a style whose deepest level involved an acknowledgment of this shared situation that arose from a global economic and political conjuncture.

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