Driving in the dark

Automobilities in film noir landscapes

Authored by: Gary Best

The Routledge Companion to Automobile Heritage, Culture, and Preservation

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138389434
eBook ISBN: 9780429423918
Adobe ISBN:


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While any given heritage is the outcome of diverse influences and cultural phenomena over time, it can be argued that the majority of such heritage constructs tend to privilege the benign rather than those that confront and challenge any given cultural status quo. Cinematic heritage, for example, more commonly permitted and nurtured fantasy forays into pasts that never were, carefully foregrounding the endearing, the charming, and the poignant, then eventually confronting urban realities. Alan Rees observed that “cars and movies grew in tandem,” and his assertion informs this exploration of the automobility and film noir dynamic, as well as investigating the means by which such film noirs can be considered as not only documenting but also conserving specific examples of vanished and vanishing automobility. 1

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