Next Christmas Gift Idea

I’m developing an increasing interest in film noir. For this reason I would like to suggest the following Christmas Gift:

A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide by John Grant.

According to Film Noir, this book “is a 512 page behemoth that boasts capsule reviews of over 3,500 films. As you would guess the net has been cast far and wide to get this tally, with the publisher’s blurb telling me that the book covers “3,500 movie entries, including not only classic US film noirs from the 1940s through 1960s, but also modern manifestations like neonoirs and erotic thrillers. Films from every continent (except Antarctica)”.

Later on added: “Flipping through the book on my iPad, I see all the essential noirs are there, and Grant gets the stories right – something Silver & Ward in their pioneering effort, The Film Noir Encyclopedia, achieve only occasionally in their longer and rather overwrought entries. One thing Grant does do is avoid spoilers and this is definitely welcome.  His entries for the more important movies are longer, and provide some background and snippets on a movie’s aesthetics.” 

Read more:
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution.

Detailed Description:

A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir (The Essential Reference Guide). Applause Books. Hardcover. 765 pages. Published by Limelight Editions (HL.314927). ISBN 1557838313. 8×10 inches.

Featuring rumpled PIs, shyster lawyers, corrupt politicians, double-crossers, femmes fatales, and, of course, losers who find themselves down on their luck yet again, film noir is a perennially popular cinematic genre. This extensive encyclopedia describes movies from noir’s earliest days – and even before, looking at some of noir’s ancestors in US and European cinema – as well as noir’s more recent offshoots, from neonoirs to erotic thrillers. Entries are arranged alphabetically, covering movies from all over the world – from every continent save Antarctica – with briefer details provided for several hundred additional movies within those entries. A copious appendix contains filmographies of prominent directors, actors, and writers.

With coverage of blockbusters and program fillers from Going Straight (US 1916) to Broken City (US 2013) via Nora Inu (Japan 1949), O Anthropos tou Trainou (Greece 1958), El Less Wal Kilab (Egypt 1962), Reportaje a la Muerte (Peru 1993), Zift (Bulgaria 2008), and thousands more, A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir is an engrossing and essential reference work that should be on the shelves of every cinephile.

About the Author

John Grant, A Scot by birth but a long-term resident of New Jersey, is the author of some sixty books. His nonfiction has included The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney’s Animated Characters, Masters of Animation, three pocket books on cinema (Animated Movies, Sci-Fi Movies, and Noir Movies), The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (with John Clute), and a series of books on the misuse and misunderstanding of science, begun with Discarded Science and continued most recently with Denying Science; for his writings on popular science he was described by author Gregory Frost as “the living heir to Martin Gardner.” His fiction has included novels like The World, The Far-enough Window,, The Dragons of Manhattan, The City in These Pages, and The Lonely Hunter, as well as numerous short stories, some of which have been collected as Take No Prisoners. For his nonfiction work he has received the Hugo Award (twice), the World Fantasy Award, and various other international awards and nominations. His editorial work, in particular his time running the celebrated fantasy art book imprint Paper Tiger, has brought him a Chesley Award and a World Fantasy Award nomination. For more of John Grant on noir and related movies, follow: Noirish “The annex to John Grant’s *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

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