Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia is an overview of 20th- and 21st-century noir and fatalist film practice from 1945 onwards. The book demonstrates the ways in which American cinema has inculcated a climate of fear in our daily lives, as reinforced, starting in the 1950s, by television, and later videocassettes, the web, and the Internet, to create, by the early 21st century a hypersurveillant atmosphere in which no one can avoid the barrage of images that continually assault our senses. The book begins with the return of American soldiers from World War II, 'liberated' from war in the Pacific by the newly created atomic bomb, which will come to rule American consciousness through much of the 1950s and 1960s and then, in a newer, more small-scale way, become a fixture of terrorist hardware in the post-paranoid ear of the 21st century. Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia is constructed in six chapters, each highlighting a particular 'raising of the cinematic stakes' in the creation of a completely immersible universe of images. Selling points: *Expands the definition of noir to include numerous lesser known works. *Deals with Red Scare films of the 1950s in the US.
*Examines the 'dark side' of the 1960s, or films that questioned the emerging counterculture. *Explores such neo-noir films as The Last Seduction (1993), Angel Heart (1987), The Grifters (1990), Red Rock West (1993), The Usual Suspects (1995), Mulholland Drive (2001), L.A. Confidential (1997), and Memento (2000). *Details the 'noir' aspects of the cybernetic age, both in online and videogame uses.
Wheeler Winston Dixon is the James Ryan Endowed Professor of Film Studies, Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and, with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Editor-in-Chief of the Quarterly Review of Film and Video.