Liminal NOIR: INTERNATIONAL CASE STUDIES OF GENRE-BENDING CLASSICS
Co-edited with English colleague and film scholar Christopher Weedman, this edited scholarly collection will feature chapters that explore the ongoing usefulness of the "film noir" label through attention to less heralded films that straddle genres or are difficult to categorize. Our goal is not to expand the noir canon but to recover lost nuances and give new life to specific classical era (1930s-early1960s) films from diverse nations by exploring them through a noir lens.
Billy wilder's Postwar Films
I've been looking into multiple post-war films helmed by Jewish emigre director Billy Wilder. I do not plan a book; instead, I am working on multiple shorter pieces:
- Article Manuscript: "Racial Darkness in Ace in the Hole." This article considers issues of race and Holocaust survivor guilt in the first film Wilder wrote, directed, and produced -- and his first major flop. Emphasizes Native American imagery, noir darkness, coded Jewishness, and Holocaust survivor guilt. Currently in review with the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.
- Conference Paper: "Cultural Ambivalence and Billy Wilder’s A Foreign Affair. " Accepted for presentation within a panel I am chairing on "Hollywood Directors on the Holocaust" (MTSU Holocaust and Genocide Studies Conference 2020 -- possibly to be postponed due to the pandemic). While the popularity and box office success of A Foreign Affair suggest its effective “blending” of genres, I posit that the film foregrounds conflict through ambivalent imagery that exposes the cultural ambivalence that plagued Wilder throughout his Hollywood war-era career.
- Book Chapter: "Deploying Dietrich: The Noir Heart of Billy Wilder's A Foreign Affair." My planned chapter for the Liminal Noir collection mentioned above. Argues that the casting of and character played by Marlene Dietrich in Foreign Affair reveals the noir core of a film intended as post-war propaganda via Hollywood-style romantic comedy entertainment.