Chapter Title

"A gray web woven by a thousand spiders’: Dream Sequence Construction in Film Noir.”

Book Title

Film Noir: Light and Shadow


Document Type

Book Chapter


Alain Silver and James Ursini


Despite a glut of black and white filters, the digital revolution in videography has all but abandoned the art, science, beauty, and power of cinematic lighting that literally illuminated the Golden Age of motion pictures. Film Noir Light and Shadow explores an era before CGI – a time when every photon mattered and the lighting of a set served a grander purpose than simply rendering its subjects visible. Edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini, the duo behind numerous critically acclaimed studies of other aspects of noir, this anthology presents a series of essays that examine the visual style of the filmmakers of cinema's classic period. Some focus on individual pictures or directors; others discuss elements of style or sub-groups of movies within the movement. All are sharply focused on what makes the noir phenomenon unique in American – and global – cinematic history. Aside from highlighting the innovative work of its editors and their late colleague Robert Porfirio, Film Noir Light and Shadow also shares its light with a bevy of contributors who have written and edited their own books on the subject – a list of luminaries that includes Sheri Chinen Biesen, Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards, Julie Grossman, Delphine Letort, Robert Miklitsch, R. Barton Palmer, Homer Pettey, Marlisa Santos, Imogen Sara Smith, and Tony Williams. As befits the topic, this volume is lavishly illustrated with 500 images that capture the richness and breadth of the classic period's imagery, making it an ideal companion for students of the genre, film historians, sprocket fiends, and the retrospectively inclined.



Publication Date





Arts and Humanities | Film and Media Studies

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