Noir by Any Other Name?: Generic Confusion and Diffusion
Neo-noir has yielded some confusion about its generic identity, with a diverse background and increasingly disparate influences. The chapter considers the extent to which it challenges misconceptions about generic purity, having always been ‘hybrid’ to some extent, and asks what happens to thematic concerns when they are relocated to new genres. Examples are selected from the three genres typically appended to noir—the western, horror and SF genres—the last of which is deemed to be especially productive in enabling the expansion of imaginative parameters. Close attention is accordingly given to ‘tech-noir’, both in cinematic and televisual forms, noting the benefits of SF’s extrapolative tendencies in reinvigorating noir concerns about identity, manipulation and abuses of power—as well as affirming a capacity for resistance and hope.
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