Tuesday, 26 January 2010

You want me to count to three like they do in the movies?

Carl Freedman is, for my money, one of the best Marxist critics of SF writing today. Imagine my discomfort, then, reading his chapter on “Marxism, Cinema, and Some Dialectics of Science Fiction and Film Noir” in Mieville and Bould’s Red Planets.

Nothing scholarly about this discomfort, mind, just old-fashioned prejudice: I like film noir, and so Freedman’s (carefully constructed, intelligently argued, elegantly arranged) case for its ‘closing’ of imaginative-political possibilities against SF’s ‘opening’ powers is one I’m loath to entertain.

Distraction from that battle is at hand, thankfully, in the form of Mike Wayne’s review of Dennis Broe, Film Noir, American Workers and Postwar Hollywood, a book “which seeks to reconnect noir with a largely repressed history of class conflict (repressed or sublimated in the films and in the commentary on the films).”

I’ve ordered Broe’s book and will try and post some thoughts up here after reading.


  1. Really, if the explosive sexual hypercharge of film noir wasn't subversive, I don't know what is.

  2. Hey could you tell me where is that quote from? The one from the title

  3. It's one of many great lines from "The Big Sleep." Just don't ask me to try and explain the plot!