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Title: Lost homes : film noir, nostalgia, and fascination, 1940-1950
Author: Keenan, Greg
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 3734
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis explores the relation between film noir and home in the 1940s. I view film noir as a traumatic category of films. Within film noir, home is a traumatic and often displaced object. Through home, this thesis analyses how history is lost in noir, and engages with noir's conceptual impossibility and retroactivity. My approach is focused around a series of close readings of a selection of film noirs, including Stranger on the Third Floor, Double Indemnity, The Killers, Mildred Pierce, The Woman in the Window, Gilda, and others. These well-known films were selected due to the way in which the centrality of home is overlooked in noir criticism. Home is both completely central to understanding the ambiguity of noir, and largely absent. Complementing these readings, I explore the psychoanalytic logic of film noir — drawing on the work of Jacques Lacan, Sigmund Freud, as well as Mark Fisher and Slavoj Žižek — in order to articulate the function of 'home' in film noir. The primary goal of this thesis is to centre the films themselves and highlight their conceptual complexity in relation to broader historical and theoretical frameworks, such as the Second World War and its aftermath, as well as noir's own retroactive conception and theoretical formalisation in the 1970s.
Supervisor: Ellis, Jonathan ; Collignon, Fabienne Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available