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Noir Affect$
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Christopher Breu and Elizabeth A. Hatmaker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823287802

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823287802.001.0001

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Toward Alphaville: Noir, Midcentury Communication, and the Management of Affect

Toward Alphaville: Noir, Midcentury Communication, and the Management of Affect

Chapter:
(p.29) Chapter 1 Toward Alphaville: Noir, Midcentury Communication, and the Management of Affect
Source:
Noir Affect
Author(s):

Justus Nieland

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823287802.003.0002

This presents a genealogy of noir affect as it emerges alongside of and against midcentury humanism and the transformation of work from Fordism to the postwar logic of cybernetics. Tracing a filmic trajectory from Wilder’s Double Indemnity to Goddard’s Alphaville, Nieland also charts the changing fate of noir affect, which goes from a negation of midcentury Fordist humanism to becoming incorporated (and thus potentially defanged) in the global and cybernetic focus of the postwar moment. Nieland thus warns us early on about the complicated political effects of noir affect. It is rarely univocal or unambiguous in its political resonances.

Keywords:   affect, Alphaville, control, cybernetics, Double Indemnity, humanism, Jean-Luc Goddard, noir, Billy Wilder

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