The Masterpieces of Film Noir The Masterpieces of Film Noir: Murder, Mayhem, and Mystery

The Masterpieces of Film Noir: Murder, Mayhem, and Mystery


Joseph Luzzi, Moderator

What are the classic films from the “film noir” tradition, an eminently American cinematic genre that remains one of global film’s most influential forces, both artistically and commercially? How do these film noir masterpieces draw on other art forms and cultural forms, from the everyday to the most rarefied, and what do they tell us about the American experience (which they often chronicle in its marginal, outlaw forms)? This Seminar will immerse participants in the fascinating world of film noir in movies that continue to appeal to cinephiles the world over.

Video will be used.

PLEASE NOTE: Viewing the films is recommended, but not required. While the sessions will include clips of the selected films, they will not be screened in their entirety.

Session 1 Double Indemnity, BILLY WILDER (1944)
Session 2 Touch of Evil, ORSON WELLES (1958)
Session 3 Chinatown, ROMAN POLANSKI (1974)
Session 4 Blue Velvet, DAVID LYNCH (1986)
Session 5 L.A. Confidential, CURTIS HANSON (1997)
Session 6 Memento, CHRISTOPHER NOLAN (2001)

THURSDAYS, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

MAR 14, 28
APR 4, 18
MAY 2, 16

Cost $475 (6 sessions)
* tax deductible portion is $237.50

Joseph Luzzi

JOSEPH LUZZI – An active critic, his writings on FILM have appeared in the New York Times, Times of London, Bookforum, and many others. Professor of Comparative Literature at Bard College. He holds a PhD in Italian Literature, Yale University.

His books include the memoirs In a Dark Wood (HarperCollins, 2015) and My Two Italies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014), a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. His scholarly work A Cinema of Poetry: Aesthetics of the Italian Art Film (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2014) was a finalist for The Bridge Book Award. He received the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern Language Association for the book Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy (Yale Univ. Press, 2008).

Photo Credit: Everett Collection