Comparative & World Lit

Summer 2006

CPLT 344  Literature and the Other Arts                           3 credits
Petty criminals, pimps, prostitutes, vagabonds, private detectives, and the deadly look of a femme fatale: this course will interrogate the underbelly of the American B-movie imagination, stealing a glance at the dark alleys and dirty laundry of the urban, industrial landscape. This course will focus on American crime melodramas of the 1940s, which came to be known as film noir, a name given by French critics at the time. We will read classics of the crime novel genre, watch the essential movies from the period, and supplement our studies with critical essays in order to question why lust, sin, crime, and greed were such widely represented topics in American popular culture. From the sensational to the sadistic, why did post-WWII America revel in the morally reprehensible? Why are disillusioned males and “dangerous” females at the core of these fictional plots? Sharpening our interpretive skills, we will examine the historical, psychological, social, political, and—of course—the sexual issues that are reflected in noir. We will watch will include such classic films as Double Indemnity (1944), Detour (1945), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Strangers on a Train (1951), Dark Passage (1947), The Big Sleep (1946), Touch of Evil (1958) and contemporary revampings of the genre, including Blade Runner (1982), Blue Velvet (1986), Boyz N’ the Hood (1991), and Sin City (2005). Note: Also listed as ANCS 344, ENGL 316 and MLL 344.
          Grade Method: REG THIS COURSE WILL MEET IN
          ACIV 014.
[0103] 6040 Meets 05/30/2006 - 07/07/2006             SKOMRA, A
            TuTh.......1:00pm- 4:10pm (ACIV014)

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