Out of the Past: Investigating Film NoirAuthor: Clute and Edwards
16 Aug 2018

Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir

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Each film noir weaves its own yarn of longing, corruption, and fateful decisions. In this podcast series, Clute and Edwards investigate one noir or neo-noir in detail. Following various threads of inquiry, they attempt to unravel the vast canvas of noir.

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    Noircast Special 4: TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir

    Miguel Rodriquez of Monster Island Resort  and Will McKinley of Cinematically Insane interview Clute and Edwards on the topic of TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir, a free multimedia online course presented by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Ball State University.  This course is the latest collaboration by the creators of the Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir podcast series and will benefit from the promotional and social media support of TCM, where Clute now serves as head of Marketing and Editorial, and the innovative multimedia course materials created by Ball State University, where Edwards is Executive Director of iLearn Research.  The course is free and open to the public, will run in conjunction with the two-month “Summer of Darkness” festival on TCM, featuring 24 hours of film noir every Friday in June and July, 2015.


  • Posted on 04 Jun 2015

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    Let Us Know About Your Favorite Films Noir

    Leave a comment here about your favorite films noir for the Out of the Past community. Whether you are a long-time fan or just discovering the great films of the noir tradition, browse through these comments to get viewing suggestions based on what listeners to Out of the Past recommend. These comments create a great crowd-sourced list of film noir titles. 


  • Posted on 15 Apr 2014

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    Out of the Past's Top Ten Episodes on Australian Broadcasting Radio National

    Clute and Edwards are pleased to announce that the Out of the Past podcasts were broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC Radio National, as part of their Top of the Pods programming--their selection of the world's best podcasts. (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/topofthepods/) 

    It was truly an honor to be included in this program, and a pleasure to hear the podcasts introduced by ABC host Robbie Buck. 


  • Posted on 09 Jul 2012

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    Episode 53: Out of the Past Act II

    OUT OF THE PAST is perhaps the most carefully structured of all films noir--a narrative divided (like protagonist Jeff Markum/Bailey) between an inescapable past and an impossible future, teetering on the slimmest hope for the present such that any action taken by its poor players tips them down into the abyss. Director Jacques Tourneur, cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca and screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring perfectly synchronized their efforts on this film, creating a narrative masterpiece where every image perfectly accompanies or contrasts every line of dialogue, where the whole is so self-conscious that it forces us to view each moment through every other, creating a true mise-en- abyme. It would be as impossible for the viewer to enter into such a story as it is for the characters to escape it, if it weren't for the decision to create a "Meta" narration at exactly the halfway point of the film, allowing the viewer to sort past from present in a film that constantly blurs that distinction in order to show how lives are always lived in servitude to what comes out of the past. For all of these reasons, the film is a constant source of inspiration, and a constant obsession, for those who watch it carefully. Artist and novelist Jonathan Santlofer joins Clute and Edwards to discuss how the film has repeatedly inspired his work, and Clute and Edwards consider how the case they would make for this movie is reframed each time they reopen their investigation into its means and motives.


  • Posted on 24 Nov 2011

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    Episode 52: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (with Scott McGee)

    Appearances can be deceiving. On the surface, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is pure science fiction, the tale of seed pods from outer space that produce emotionless body doubles of each citizen in the small town of Santa Mira. Often read as an allegory of either Communism or McCarthyism, where every person who becomes "one of them" loses autonomy by willingly buying into the unthinking collective, the film in fact plumbs questions of humanity in the modern era with subtlety and nuance more common to films noir than to science fiction movies. As Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) and Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter) fight to remain human, they question the mass hysteria of the era, recognize that all appearances are misleading in a mass media culture, and discuss how we lose our humanity in times of social dislocation. Director Don Siegal, screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring and producer Walter Wanger draw on their extensive experience in creating iconic films noir to craft a movie that self-consciously adopts a noir style and noir thematics whenever the stakes are high, demonstrating in the process that noir is ideally suited to addressing human questions in the years following WWII, when retaining our humanity in spite of technological progress is precisely what is in question.


  • Posted on 15 Oct 2011

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