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The University of Southampton
International Summer School

Global film noir and genre studies: American, European and East Asian

This module aims to introduce students to film noir in the classical Hollywood era and the contemporary global context.

Global film noir and genre studies: American, European and East Asian
Global film noir and genre studies: American, European and East Asian

With its doomed antiheroes, seductive femme fatales and wisecracking private detectives on moodily-lit nighttime streets, noir has become iconic of 1940s style. Students will be introduced to the complexities in defining this most easily recognizable genre, discuss the cinematic elements that constitute its unique atmosphere, and understand noir’s various contexts. In the first session “Understanding classic noir”, we will situate noir style within the classical Hollywood studio system, and its pessimistic outlook in postwar American society. The second session, led by Dr. Louis Bayman, will consider noir as an interaction between European culture and American crime fiction, tracing noir’s origins in German expressionism and French poetic realism and outlining the development of European noir. The last session will analyze contemporary global neo-noir through case studies from Hong Kong, Korea and the Chinese mainland. Students will gain expertise in film studies, cultural history and genre analysis, and strengthen their oral communication skills through class discussion.

The academic organising this topic is Dr Louis Bayman, Lecturer in Film.  Find out more about the PGR tutor, Yushi Hou, on our Meet your PGR Tutor page.

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