East Asian Film Noir : Transnational Encounters and Intercultural Dialogue
Film noir has been understood as a genre exclusive to Hollywood. But classical US noir's downbeat sensibility also finds expression in later films from Japan, South Korea and greater China (including Hong Kong) and Taiwan that have both participated in and been excluded from circuits of global-noir traffic, past and present. Noir is a form of generic expression, an international filmic sensibility and a discourse loosely joining innumerable texts and a range of production and reception phenomena. However defined and categorized, the genre offers a compelling frame through which to view individual works, looming political and cultural contexts, film industry and reception activity, and wider circuits and frictions of global screen-media flow.
This anthology looks at a range of East Asian films from the 1950s to the present – including The Crimson Kimono, Brother, Ghost in the Shell, Nowhere to Hide, Duelist and Rebels of the Neon God - that have been explicitly framed as film noir or East Asian noir, or that acquire legibility as noir texts through reception discourse and other critical activity. Contributors look at historical and contemporary cases to understand the terms on which national, regional and transnational cinemas conceive artistic expression. Their conceptualization and articulation of an internationally situated 'East Asian film noir' helps raise questions around the politics of representation, authorial activity, generic and modal positioning and local and cross-cultural reception.