Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Film Noir$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Homer B. Pettey and R. Barton Palmer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748691074

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748691074.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

The Cinema of Uncertainty and the Opacity of Information from Louis Feuillade’s Crime Serials to Film Noir

The Cinema of Uncertainty and the Opacity of Information from Louis Feuillade’s Crime Serials to Film Noir

Chapter:
(p.16) 1. The Cinema of Uncertainty and the Opacity of Information from Louis Feuillade’s Crime Serials to Film Noir
Source:
Film Noir
Author(s):

Vicki Callahan

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748691074.003.0002

In looking for the cinematic antecedents of film noir, identifying specific visual motifs or narrative elements may not prove the most efficacious strategy, as these components are variable from film to film. Rather, we should approach the genre from the question of its epistemological and ideological missions, which are much more consistent across the many films identified as noir, despite dissimilar styles, narrative lines, and character types. Examining the kind of knowledge produced and the status of evidence in defining what we know in noir, Louis Feuillade's silent era crime serials are offered as key predecessors. These films offer neither a strategy of “showing” or “telling” but rather a third path in film history, one preoccupied with the limits of knowledge, the “cinema of uncertainty.” While the photographic image and most of narrative cinema worked to erase a representational crisis in bourgeois culture through a reification of the truth of appearances, Feuillade's crime films operated at the center of the crisis and destabilized this belief. Feuillade's films operate as a form of counter-cinema, whose strains are found in non-narrative or avant-garde film but also in “underground,” “classical” Hollywood film such as noir.

Keywords:   Feulliade, French Cinema, cinema of uncertainty, counter-cinema, Noir

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.