ON AMERICAN FILM NOIR AGAIN AND AGAIN
The review of the anthology The Philosophy of Film Noir, edited by Mark Conard and published by the University of Kentucky Press in 2006, presents most of the essays from the volume, summarizing and discussing the problems and ideas they raise, in order not only to publicize quite recent opinions and remarks of American film criticism on film noir, but also to contextualize them. What is worth emphasizing here is that they represent, on the one hand, the evidence of the revival of film history postulated by Thomas Elsaesser at the beginning of the 1990s and the decline, or the waning, as David Bordwell said a few years later, of Grand Theory, on the other hand. Constituting overtly the turn to history in cinema studies, they manifest another stage in the process of studying and analyzing film noir that has remained unabated since the late 1940s. The persistence of this critical activity that has resulted in quite large number of books, articles and essays on the subject published each year for decades, generates a question on whether such enduring appeal reveals something covertly related to the American Psyche.