In John Dahl and Neo-Noir: Examining Auteurism and Genre, Paul Monaco provides a focused inquiry into the first three feature films that director John Dahl made for theatrical release: Kill Me Again (1989), Red Rock West (1993), and The Last Seduction (1994). Subsequent to their releases, these three films became identified in academic film criticism as neo-noir, and Dahl was labeled a "noir-meister" who made "a cottage industry of neo-noir." The importance of these three films, and Monaco's investigation of them, is how they illuminate a modern director's creative process in relation to an emerging genre. Dahl is rightly recognized for his directorial vision and his creative style. His approach to film direction, and his distinctiveness of vision, is thoroughly explored in the book. Using interviews with the professionals with whom Dahl has worked closely, Monaco also explores basic notions about auteurism and how genre is defined. Considering Dahl's extensive directing for television alongside his first three films, John Dahl and Neo-Noir ultimately demonstrates how this groundbreaking director is a prime example of a modern "director for hire."
Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 413 g
Dimensions: 239 x 163 x 16 mm
In his incisive and well-informed study of John Dahl's first three neo-noir thrillers, Paul Monaco uses close reading, background interviews, commentary, and theory to throw light on the idea of the director as author. What interests Monaco is the particular circumstances that enable a contemporary film maker to place his signature on a film. This book is for all those seriously interested in creativity, film-making, direction, and the movie business. -- Ian C. Jarvie, York University
John Dahl and Neo-Noir is a terrific book, carefully researched and keenly written. Monaco is a master at unpacking directorial nuance and production logic, illuminating how tightly film authorship and genre are woven together in neo-noir. -- John T. Caldwell, author of Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television (2008)