The Philosophy of TV Noir
Steven Sanders, Aeon J. Skoble
University Press of Kentucky, 2008 - Performing Arts - 272 pages
Film noir reflects the fatalistic themes and visual style of hard-boiled novelists and many émigré filmmakers in 1940s and 1950s America, emphasizing crime, alienation, and moral ambiguity. In The Philosophy of TV Noir, Steven M. Sanders and Aeon J. Skoble argue that the legacy of film noir classics such as The Maltese Falcon, Kiss Me Deadly, and The Big Sleep is also found in episodic television from the mid-1950s to the present. In this first-of-its-kind collection, contributors from philosophy, film studies, and literature raise fundamental questions about the human predicament, giving this unique volume its moral resonance and demonstrating why television noir deserves our attention. The introduction traces the development of TV noir and provides an overview and evaluation of the book’s thirteen essays, each of which discusses an exemplary TV noir series. Realism, relativism, and integrity are discussed in essays on Dragnet, Naked City, The Fugitive, and Secret Agent. Existentialist themes of authenticity, nihilism, and the search for life’s meaning are addressed in essays on Miami Vice, The Sopranos, Carnivale, and 24. The methods of crime scene investigation in The X-Files and CSI are examined, followed by an exploration of autonomy, selfhood, and interpretation in The Prisoner, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Millennium. With this focus on the philosophical dimensions of crime, espionage, and science fiction series, The Philosophy of TV Noir draws out the full implications of film noir and establishes TV noir as an art form in its own right.
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abduction absurdity aesthetic alien American authenticity behavior believe Brother Justin Camus Carnivŕle Carter’s characters classic film noir classic noir Conard corrupt Crime Story criminal cultural relativism Dana Scully dark death Dragnet Drake episode essay ethical evidence example existentialist femme fatale fiction film noir Film Noir Reader Fox Mulder Frank Black freedom genre Gerard Grissom hard-boiled human identity individual relativism investigation Jack Bauer Jack’s justice Kierkegaard killed Kimble Kimble’s Lady Heather lives logic Martins meaning Melfi Miami Vice moral ambiguity moral standards Mulder and Scully Naked City narrative neo-noir nihilism noir films noir protagonist noir television Number Number 6’s one’s paradigm Peirce Philosophy of Film police Prisoner programs realism revolt Sanders Sartre Sartre’s Scully’s season Secret Agent selfhood sense shows Skoble social society Sonny Crockett Sopranos style themes things Tony Tony’s TV noir Twin Peaks typically University Press Ursini viewers Village Webb X-Files X-Files and Millennium York
Page 52 - ... defined. It is primarily a term for the socially elaborated segment of human behavior in any culture; and abnormality, a term for the segment that that particular civilization does not use. The very eyes with which we see the problem are conditioned by the long traditional habits of our own society. It is a point that has been made more often in relation to ethics than in relation to psychiatry. We do not any longer make the mistake of deriving the morality of our locality and decade directly...